The LDS church, through inciting its members to donate time and means to support Proposition 8 (resulting in millions of dollars of cash contributions from its members and countless volunteer hours), and in-kind campaign contributions to a group that supports Proposition 8, has now made a substantial part of its activities attempting to influence legislation.
You can help! Send the IRS an official complaint about the LDS Church’s activities, either by email, fax or US Mail.
Prepare a copy of the Official LDS Prop. 8 Letter read in all LDS churches in California on 29 June 2008.
Prepare one or more other articles of your choice (you can use these links, or do your own research) showing the LDS Church’s substantial activities attempting to influence this legislation.
Prepare this Pre-Filled IRS Form 13909 and add your personal information, or fill out a Blank IRS Form 13909 from scratch with the information in the pre-filled form (these links and an alternative filled form are copied below in RESOURCES.)
Don’t forget to date your referral at the top and include your submitter information. If you are a member of the Church, you may wish to check the box marked “I am concerned that I might face retaliation or retribution if my identity is disclosed.”
Send it to the IRS, either by:
* Email: Prepare your documents as PDF’s or web links, and send your complaint form with supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Fax: fax your documents to (214) 413-5415
* Mail: mail your documents to
IRS EO Classification
Mail Code 4910DAL
1100 Commerce Street
Dallas TX 75242-1198
"The decision virtually ensures another fight at the ballot box over marriage rights for gays. Gay rights activists say they may ask voters to repeal the marriage ban as early as next year, and opponents have pledged to fight any such effort. Proposition 8 passed with 52% of the vote.
Although the court split 6-1 on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the justices were unanimous in deciding to keep intact the marriages of as many as 18,000 gay couples who exchanged vows before the election. The marriages began last June, after a 4-3 state high court ruling striking down the marriage ban last May.
In an opinion written by Chief Justice Ronald M. George, the state high court ruled today that the November initiative was not an illegal constitutional revision, as gay rights lawyers contended, nor unconstitutional because it took away an inalienable right, as Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown argued.
Only Justice Carlos R. Moreno, the court's sole Democrat, wanted Proposition 8 struck down as an illegal constitutional revision.
Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who voted with the majority last year to give gays marriage rights, joined George and the court's four other justices in voting to uphold Proposition 8.
The case for overturning the initiative was widely viewed as a long shot. Gay rights lawyers had no solid legal precedent on their side, and some of the court's earlier holdings on constitutional revisions mildly undercut their arguments.
But gay marriage advocates captured a wide array of support in the case, with civil rights groups, legal scholars and even some churches urging the court to overturn the measure. Supporters of the measure included many churches and religious organizations."
"Perhaps the biggest reason that Proposition 8 was passed by California voters is the broken initiative system. I am in no way bemoaning the initiative process itself, because I am a huge supporter of it, I am pointing out the need to reform the process in California and many other states.
If you don't understand what I am saying, consider this - Prop 8 was a constitutional amendment. It passed with only about 52.3 percent of the vote. Voter turnout for the initiative was about 79.4 percent. Since 52.3 percent of 79.4 percent is about 41.5 percent, that means that only 41.5 percent of California voters approved this amendment to their state constitution.
Let me say that again - 8.5 percentage points less than a majority of registered voters passed Prop 8, a constitutional amendmnet.
That is outrageous. If you look at the United States Constitution, it is nearly impossible to amend it, because the Founding Fathers knew that it should not be amended without huge popular support. That is not the case in California, and the two dozen or so other states that have ballot initiatives. A minority of California voters amended their Constitution - Prop 8 did not have as much popular support as it should have in order to pass.
The threshold is too low in California for voters to amend their constitution. This, combined with other broken parts of their initiative system (eg, no campaign finance regulations and no deliberative process), is one of the biggest reasons why Prop 8 passed in November. That needs to change, and luckily there are a few options to reform this problem." [more...]
"The first ads -- Ruben & Hector || Cynthia & Frances -- are scheduled to air statewide starting Monday (May 11). Over the next hundred days, volunteer canvassers will knock on 40,000 doors in targeted communities as well as enlist 100,000 activists to serve as Equality Ambassadors, who will pledge to have conversations about marriage with at least 300,000 California residents. To help meet the campaign's ambitious goals, EQCA is currently hiring and placing 25 full-time field organizers throughout the state, including the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Six organizers have already been hired. 'This campaign is for every person in every community in every part of our state, and it will empower our diverse community and allies to win marriage back together,' said Andrea Shorter, EQCA coalition coordinator. 'We will also enlist 1,000 clergy in the next 100 days to help spread the word that marriage equality is a spiritual value as well as a civil right.' EQCA will also organize major outreach events with faith, grassroots and community leaders as part of the campaign specifically working with African American and Latino communities."
What the voters have done, the voters can undo, and now the advocates of marriage equality (I'm one of them) will have to play the democracy game the way it's supposed to be played.
The right thing to do is to get a new Prop together and work to get that enacted. And on the bright side, the court did not dissolve existing marriages
So, it'd be possible to repeal Prop 8 in 2010, and then ... reinstate it in 2012? And so forth? That possibility of jerking everyone around just sounds even more fucked up.
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State."
the court says that gay couples cannot use the term 'marriage'
Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
Accordingly, although Proposition 8 eliminates the ability of same-sex
couples to enter into an official relationship designated “marriage,” in all other
respects those couples continue to possess, under the state constitutional privacy
and due process clauses, “the core set of basic substantive legal rights and
attributes traditionally associated with marriage,” including, “most fundamentally,
the opportunity of an individual to establish — with the person with whom the
individual has chosen to share his or her life — an officially recognized and
protected family possessing mutual rights and responsibilities and entitled to the
same respect and dignity accorded a union traditionally designated as marriage.”
This exception (Proposition 8) — although constituting the
governing state constitutional rule with regard to the specific matter it
addresses — does not alter the general equal protection principles set forth in the
Marriage Cases and in other California decisions interpreting and applying the
state constitutional equal protection clause. Those principles continue to apply in
all other contexts.
The Religious Case for Gay Marriage
"Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side."
Section 501(c)(3) describes corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literacy, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in section (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.
Substantial Lobbying Activity
In general, no organization, including a church, may qualify for IRC section 501(c)(3) status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.
Facts v. Fiction:
Fiction: Prop 8 doesn’t discriminate against gay people.
Fact: Prop 8 is simple: it eliminates the rights for same-sex couples to marry. Prop 8 would deny equal protections and write discrimination against one group of people—lesbian and gay people—into our state constitution.
Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop 8.
Fact: Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education. And no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it. California’s top educators including Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell and California Teachers all agree: Prop 8 has nothing to do with education.
Fiction: Churches could lose their tax-exemption status.
Fact: The court decision regarding marriage specifically says “no religion will be required to change its religious policies or practices with regard to same-sex couples, and no religious officiant will be required to solemnize a marriage in contravention of his or her religious beliefs.”
Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.
Fact: California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts.
Fiction: Four Activist Judges in San Francisco…
Fact: Prop 8 is about eliminating a fundamental right. Judges didn’t grant the right, the constitution guarantees the right. Proponents of Prop 8 use an outdated and stale argument that judges aren’t supposed to protect rights and freedoms. Prop 8 is about whether Californians are willing to amend the constitution for the sole purpose of eliminating a fundamental right for one group of citizens.
Fiction: If Prop 8 isn’t passed, people can be sued over personal beliefs.
Fact: California’s laws already prohibit discrimination against anyone based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. This has nothing to do with marriage.
Fiction: Pepperdine University supports the Yes on 8 campaign.
Fact: The University has publicly disassociated itself from Professor Richard Peterson of Pepperdine University, who is featured in the ad, and has asked to not be identified in the Yes on 8 advertisements.
Fiction: Unless Prop 8 passes, California parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.
Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.
"Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have."
-- Mormon Prophet Brigham Young | Journal of Discourses, 11:268-9.
"Support for same-sex marriage has increased among nearly all demographic groups over the last five years. Support for same-sex marriage has increased among nearly all demographic groups over the last five years. Today liberals are one of the strongest backers of same-sex marriage, with 69 percent in favor of permitting it. In March 2004, just 41 percent of liberals supported the idea.
Fifty-two percent of Democrats now think gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry, compared to 28 percent five years ago. There has even been an uptick in support among Republicans and conservatives, with about twice as many supporting the idea now (18 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of conservatives) than five years ago (10 percent of both Republicans and conservatives)."
"When voters in California, Florida and Arizona approved measures banning same-sex marriage last month, opponents lamented that the country appeared to be turning increasingly intolerant toward gay and lesbian rights. But the latest NEWSWEEK Poll finds growing public support for gay marriage and civil unions—and strong backing for the granting of certain rights associated with marriage, to same-sex couples.
(Click here to see the full poll [PDF])."
"The model predicts that by 2012, almost half of the 50 states would vote against a marriage ban, including several states that had previously voted to ban it. In fact, voters in Oregon, Nevada and Alaska (which Sarah Palin aside, is far more libertarian than culturally conservative) might already have second thoughts about the marriage bans that they'd previously passed.
By 2016, only a handful of states in the Deep South would vote to ban gay marriage, with Mississippi being the last one to come around in 2024.
It is entirely possible, of course, that past trends will not be predictive of future results. There could be a backlash against gay marriage, somewhat as there was a backlash against drug legalization in the 1980s. Alternatively, there could be a paradigmatic shift in favor of permitting gay marriage, which might make these projections too conservative.
Overall, however, marriage bans appear unlikely to be an electoral winner for very much longer, and soon the opposite may prove to be true."
"This measure [Prop. 8] was losing resoundingly just before the election.
Yet for the past decade, the Mormon Church has been planning to outlaw marriage equality. The church hoped to conceal its efforts in a broad-based coalition.
For the past six months, Mormon volunteers, directed by the Church, misled Californians about the effects of the Supreme Court ruling by tapping into a war chest of Mormon cash and contributing up to 70% of Prop 8 financing, in spite of being a mere 4% of the voting population."*
"...the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass [Prop 8] with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers"
“I believe that the voters have determined that the rights of marriage should apply only to married couples, only the voters should determine whether those rights equally apply to domestic partners,” [Gov. Jim Gibbons] said in a statement....
It wasn’t immediately clear if the Legislature would seek to override Gibbons’ veto. Harrah’s Entertainment has called for an override if Gibbons vetoed the measure. The casino giant pointed to an estimated $700 billion in buying power among potential lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender customers.
Opponents of gay civil union rights could try another ballot initiative to expressly amend the constitution to ban such rights, but under the Court's ruling, that proposed amendment would have to ban such rights expressly to be effective. The Court's opinion makes clear that generally, amendments will not be interpreted to repeal constitutional rights by implication. The disfavor of repeal by implication is a longstanding legal principle, and the Court's use of it here is a deft way of sending this issue back to the political process while upholding gay civil union rights for the foreseeable future. Under this approach by the Court, opponents of gay civil union rights would have to word any future proposed amendments in such a way as to expressly ban gay civil union rights, and as a result, their ability to secure a sufficient number of petition signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, and then a majority of votes at the polls, will be all the more difficult.
Former Bush administration solicitor general Theodore Olson is part of a team that has filed suit in federal court in California seeking to overturn Proposition 8 and re-establish the right of same-sex couples to marry.
The suit argues that the state's marriage ban, upheld Tuesday by the California Supreme Court, violates the federal constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. The complaint was filed Friday, and Olson and co-counsel David Boies -- who argued against Olson in the Bush v. Gore case -- will hold a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday to explain the case. The conference will feature the two same-sex couples on whose behalf Olson filed suit.
The suit also asks the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to issue an injunction that would stop enforcement of Proposition 8 and allow same-sex couples to marry while the case is being decided.
"These churches are becoming civic in a way unimaginable since the 13th century and its cathedral towns. No longer simply places to worship, they have become part resort, part mall, part extended family and part town square."
"We listened very carefully to the thousands of you who responded to our membership survey. You provided passionate arguments for both 2010 and 2012, as well as detailed comments about why you prefer one election to another. We read every one of them. In the end, you voted in favor of 2010 by a margin of 69 percent to 24 percent, with 7 percent unsure.
We agree with you. Under the right conditions (which we explain below), we support returning to the ballot in November 2010 for the following reasons (which many of you expressed)" ...[read on]...
“Ours is the only state that has both an iron-clad constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and thousands of gay couples whose marriages have full constitutional protection.”
"Read what Olson said to the Washington Examiner about his work on the Prop 8 case:"I personally think it is time that we as a nation get past distinguishing people on the basis of sexual orientation and that a grave injustice is being done to people by making these distinctions," Olson told me Tuesday night. "I thought their cause was just."
I asked Olson about the objections of conservatives who will argue that he is asking a court to overturn the legitimately-expressed will of the people of California. "It is our position in this case that Proposition 8, as upheld by the California Supreme Court, denies federal constitutional rights under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution," Olson said. "The constitution protects individuals' basic rights that cannot be taken away by a vote. If the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution. We believe that denying individuals in this category the right to lasting, loving relationships through marriage is a denial to them, on an impermissible basis, of the rights that the rest of us enjoy…I also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."If Ted Olson can say that about gay marriage, then all bets are off in terms of what we should expect from Democratic politicians....Times have changed. We have conservative Republican leaders like Steve Schmidt and Ted Olson openly endorsing gay marriage while our Democratic president and far too many of his administration are treating gays and their civil rights like some kind of crazy Aunt you don't talk about in polite company because she's just so embarrassing.
Religious right bigots like to invoke Obama's supposed opposition to gay marriage when trying to take away our civil rights, and the White House says nothing to dispel the comparison. Well, perhaps it's time we started quoting pro- gay marriage conservatives like Steve Schmidt and Ted Olson, and asking the White House why Barack Obama seems to have a bigger hang up with our civil rights - hell, with us (do you see anyone openly gay in the Cabinet?) - than two of the most conservative Republicans in Washington." *
"I personally think it is time that we as a nation get past distinguishing people on the basis of sexual orientation and that a grave injustice is being done to people by making these distinctions," Olson told me Tuesday night. "I thought their cause was just."
I asked Olson about the objections of conservatives who will argue that he is asking a court to overturn the legitimately-expressed will of the people of California. "It is our position in this case that Proposition 8, as upheld by the California Supreme Court, denies federal constitutional rights under the equal protection and due process clauses of the constitution," Olson said. "The constitution protects individuals' basic rights that cannot be taken away by a vote. If the people of California had voted to ban interracial marriage, it would have been the responsibility of the courts to say that they cannot do that under the constitution. We believe that denying individuals in this category the right to lasting, loving relationships through marriage is a denial to them, on an impermissible basis, of the rights that the rest of us enjoy…I also personally believe that it is wrong for us to continue to deny rights to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation."
"This is not over. This decision, because I think in a year or two they will be back with another initiative. Eventually it's going to be overturned. I'm sure of that."
CB: When did you decide you were going to be the one to make "8: The Mormon Proposition" and what factor(s) drove your decision? What aspects of your own background or of the Prop 8 campaign brought you to this project?
RC: Truthfully, this film started out as an exposé on the problems of gay teen homelessness in Utah's "Zion" and an examination about WHY otherwise loving parents would kick their kids out on to the streets just because their kids are gay. But as the weeks and months unfolded in our project, I began seeing that history demanded our project be larger in scope. Slowly, but with great force, our focus shifted to what I believe is the "touchstone" of Mormon ideology regarding homosexuality...and that is exclusively Mormon efforts to get PROP 8 on the ballot in California and see its passage. It's the case against Mormons and what I believe has been a decades long work to damage gay people and their causes.
"Watch their press conference [27:32], at which they were asked about their motives (because the LGBT community never thought they were pro-gay), about why it is a federal case, about whether or not they have a family member who is gay, and about the timing of the lawsuit.
Olson says that he has never been part of an organization that is anti-gay: 'I hope that people don't suspect my motives, but we've had lots of conversations about this. I feel that this is the right position...We fundamentally believe what we are saying. And we're going to win this case.'
Said Boies: 'I've known Ted well for 10 years. [Ted] is a person that is committed in his heart and soul to equality. He is committed in his heart and soul to the Constitution. That is why he is here, and that is why he asked me to participate in this litigation.'
Today, Freedom to Marry issued a press release with a coalition of LGBT groups warning that a federal lawsuit could set the fight for marriage back. They also released a new publication [PDF] to that effect entitled 'Why the ballot box and not the courts should be the next step on marriage in California': 'This publication discourages people from bringing premature lawsuits based on the federal Constitution because, without more groundwork, the U.S. Supreme Court likely is not yet ready to rule that same-sex couples cannot be barred from marriage.'"
How the Mormon Stole Everything [NSFW].
"With the battle moving east, some advocates are shouting that fact in the streets, calculating that on an issue that eventually comes down to comfort levels, more people harbor apprehensions about Mormons than about homosexuality.
...Nearly eight in 10 Americans personally know or work with a gay person, according to a recent Newsweek survey. Only 48 percent, meanwhile, know a Mormon, according to a Pew Research Center poll."
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has been leading the national crusade against same-sex marriage since President Gordon B. Hinckley issued such a proclamation in 1988. The Church showed just how effective it could be beginning in Hawaii in the mid-nineties all the way through to California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. They were involved to some degree with all 30 state elections outlawing same-sex marriage.
The purpose of Mormongate.com is to tell the real truth about the Mormon Church’s massive involvement and cover-up of this issue. Nearly all of their activities are intended to be highly secretive. This strategy has served them well over the past 20 years; however, we have recently received documentation of just how they operate.
We will continually update Mormongate.com as we receive new information on Mormon involvement in leading the fight against equality throughout the U.S. We are constantly seeking the public’s help in providing us information on the Mormon Church’s activities around their opposition to same-sex marriage. All tips will be kept strictly confidential. Please help us to lift the Mormon Church‘s veil of secrecy."
"New Hampshire became the sixth state in the nation today to approve gay marriage, after legislation was enacted by both the state House and Senate and then signed by Governor John Lynch."
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