Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The Mormon Church, a major backer of the 2000 ballot measure that reaffirmed California's ban on same-sex marriage, is asking its members to "do all you can" to support a November initiative that would reinstate the ban as a state constitutional amendment.

"The church's teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God," the church's governing First Presidency said in a letter to be read Sunday to all congregations in California. It urges members to donate "your means and time" to the ballot measure campaign.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which estimates its California membership at 750,000, is one of the largest and best-organized of several denominations expected to be active in the initiative campaign.

It's all legal, says the Internal Revenue Service. Long-standing federal law prohibits churches and charities from endorsing or opposing political candidates, at the risk of their tax-exempt status. But they are free to work for or against legislation, including ballot measures, as long as they don't devote a substantial part of their activities to those efforts.

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