Prop. 8, was widely supported by religious organisations because it defines marriage as between a man and woman, clarifying certain ambiguities in the law which had briefly afforded same-sex couples in certain States of the union, equal human rights with heterosexual couples.
The ruling means that donations of $100 or greater are a matter public record. A quick search of the database on www.sacbee.com, reveals some startling sums of money being thrown around by religious organisations—who’s tax exempt status is supposed to hinge upon their remaining separate from affairs of state.
The table reveals, in three separate donations, the Catholic organisation Knights of Columbus gave $400,000, then an additional $25,000 as the ‘Calif. State council Knights of Columbus’ as well as the highest group donation in favour of the bill, of $1,000,000 from the ‘Knights of Columbus Headquarters’.
Evangelical mega church, San Diego Rock, gave $25,679. James Dobson’s ‘Focus on the family’, who has openly rallied on his radio show, and preached on the moral imperative for Yes on Proposition 8, gave $49,536.
Fieldstead and co.’s support for Proposition 8, to the tune of $895,000, comes after the founder, Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson, Jr., told the Orange County Register, “My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives” and follows years of Philanthropic efforts in support of Christian Evangelical causes.
Concerned Women For America, which calls all forms of civil unions or domestic partnership between same-sex individuals “counterfeit marriages” gave $409,000.
The American Family Association, who in 2004 boycotted the movie ‘Shark Tale’ because they said it was “designed to promote the acceptance of gay rights by children”, gave $500,000.
Indeed, looking down the list, it’s difficult to find a single major donor who isn’t in some way connected to Evangelical Christianity of some kind or another.
But it’s not just Evangelical groups. Individuals who donated in support, starting at $500 from Whitney Clayton, of the First Quorum of the Seventy, a Mormon group who rallied for co-ordinated nation-wide efforts on a Yes vote, build to people like Alan Ashton.
Ashton, who served as a mission president for Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints in western Ontario from July 2004 through June 2007 and is the grandson of former LDS Church president David O. McKay was single largest individual contributor to the Yes campaign, donating $1,000,000 from his vast fortune as co-founder of WordPerfect Corporation.
John and Josephine Templeton Jr., Presidents of the Templeton Foundation, who’s financial support of the The Discovery Institute, an Evangelical front organisation for the promotion of “Intelligent Design”, gave $900,000 and $300,000 respectively.
When is there going to be a clarification of the law with regard to campaign contributions from tax exempt religious organisations?