The narrow margin of victory for California's Proposition 8, an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage, may be attributable to millions of dollars in donations from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Mormons' support for the ballot measure is no small irony given the Church's onetime support of polygamy. The Church disavowed that doctrine in 1890 so that Utah could become a state, but renegade Mormon sects continue to practice polygamy today.
LDS leaders expressed support for Proposition 8 in letters to congregations, Web videos, and outreach efforts with the Protect Marriage Coalition. Church elders pressed followers to "support in every way possible the sacred institution of marriage as we know it to be." That translated into at least $14 million in donations from individual Mormons and Mormon-owned businesses, according to a 25-page spreadsheet posted on the Web site Mormonsfor8.com (excerpts below and on the following two pages). Mormon contributors are identified by first name and last initial, while non-Mormons are listed with full names. At least one donor, Alan A. from Lindon, Utah gave $1,000,000 to prevent same-sex couples two states away from enjoying legally-wedded bliss (Page 3).
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