Huge Mormon Push Doomed Proposition 8

Half of donations, many volunteers from LDS church
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 15, 2008 11:30 AM CST
A painting of Jesus and a young boy hangs next to a sign directing voters where to go in a Mormon church building on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, in Sandy, Utah.    (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Vigorous Mormon efforts were behind the success of California’s gay-marriage ban, the New York Times reports. Mormon leaders said they saw the ban as a “fundamental moral issue,” and contributed almost half of the $40 million collected to push Proposition 8 through; they coordinated an extensive campaign to contact voters, with church members accounting for some 90% of early door-knockers for the cause, said a strategist.

Last-minute calls for cash drew millions, including $1 million alone from the grandson of a former Mormon president. “California is a huge state, often seen as a bellwether—this was seen as a very, very important test,” said a Mormon official. The Times notes they had two sets of talking points: One said the ban would reaffirm God's definition of marriage; the other emphasized that "we're pro-marriage, not anti-gay." Volunteers would use one or the other depending on the potential voter's beliefs.