Thursday, January 29, 2009

News Release on Federal Court Ruling re Prop 8 Contributors

SACRAMENTO (AP) – Federal judge denies request to keep donors to California’s anti-gay marriage initiative secret.

Statement by Fred Karger, Founder of Californians Against Hate regarding today’s Federal Court Ruling on Proposition 8 Contributors:

The Court today did the right thing by upholding California’s 35 year old Political Reform Act. The law requires that all contributors of $100 and above to state campaigns be reported and available to the public. Every California campaign has abided by this law for over three decades.

It is truly unfortunate that in the heat of a campaign donors are subjected to any undue attention. This has sadly been the case on both sides of last November’s highly emotional Proposition 8 campaign. But the law passed by the voters in 1974 has served our state well all these years and must remain in place.

The Executive Board of, who filed this lawsuit, sent a letter to many major donors to No on 8 – Equality California threatening to expose them and take action against their companies unless they gave to the Yes on 8 campaign. Now they complain of harassment?

Gay and lesbian donors fighting several anti gay initiatives in California beginning with the 1978 Briggs Initiative (Prop 6) have contributed to these campaigns in fear of job loss and being outed to their families. No exemption from the law was ever requested.

The Mormon Church and all the other major supporters of Proposition 8 knew the law when they qualified their Constitutional Amendment for the November ballot and must abide by it. The Mormon Church basically required over 60,000 of its members throughout the country to give nearly $25 million to take away the right to marry for same-sex couples in California. After winning their very deceitful campaign by only 4% points, they now hoped to keep the names secret of another 6,600 donors who must be reported on Monday, February 2nd. This is despicable.

The Mormon Church is currently under an active investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission – FPPC (Case # 080735) for allegedly not reporting what could amount to be hundreds of thousands of dollars of non monetary contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign. While this investigation is underway, their law suit named FPPC Chairman Ross Johnson and the other four Commissioners as defendants. Also named were California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Secretary of State Debra Bowen.

Well, if the Salt Lake City based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is going to be that involved California elections, they have to play by the rules. What is the Mormon Church trying to hide?

The Mormon Church is not a named plaintiff in the Federal lawsuit, and through its spokeswoman even denied knowledge of its existence, it certainly must be behind it. They have clearly been the focus of the post election unhappiness.

The Mormon Church is in the midst of a self admitted PR offensive to resuscitate its wounded image as a result of their heavy handed involvement in the Yes on Prop 8 campaign (see ABC’s Nightline segment from January 9, 2009 ). This lawsuit is clearly an attempt by the Church to demonize its opponents, while having others front for them. They have a long and documented history of this type of activity.

We, like all millions of other Californians, applaud the Court’s decision today, and look forward to reviewing the thousands of additional donors to both sides of the Prop 8 campaign when the report comes out on Monday.
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