The LDS church issued a news release regarding the media buzz about the previously unreported $190,000 that was in the latest filing from the church: Church Clarifies Proposition 8 Filing, Corrects Erroneous News Reports
The whole explanation boils down to "we were supposed to file by January 31st, 2009, and we met the deadline - so what's the problem?"
First of all, there is a certain arrogance with the phrase "corrects erroneous news reports". Most of us are not versed in the finer details of campaign finance laws. We look at the information at hand and form opinions. The information available to us prior to yesterday is that the LDS church previously filed donations 'in kind' of approximately $2000 - then they submitted a final report detailing out approximately $190,000 of donations 'in kind'. Why wait until you've been blasted in the media before issuing a press release? Why not be a little more proactive and issue a news release simultaneously with the final filing? This is, obviously, a very sensitive topic. Were they truly naive enough to think that they were going to file this and nobody would notice the discrepancy? Did they sincerely believe that no explanation was needed?
It is also disingenuous to point out that their in-kind (non-monetary) contribution is less than one half of one percent of the total funds (approximately $40 million) raised for the “Yes on 8” campaign. The fact is that most of the $40M came from Mormon's. And, it's safe to assume, that most of those Mormon's would probably not have made a donation if the church hadn't ask them to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time" in conjunction with its fundamental principal of "follow the prophet". So, while the church did not make significant contributions, according to the legal definition - it is directly responsible for the majority of the contributions received by the YesOn8 campaign.
The LDS church feels that same sex marriage is morally wrong. They rallied their forces and were successful in passing proposition 8 defining marriage as only being between a man and a woman. They averted a potential catastrophe that was threatening the very foundation of family by redefining marriage. Families in California are now safe from all of those gay couples who wanted their own committed monogamous relationships to be recognized as such. So, why are they now hiding behind legal mumbo jumbo? Why not stand up and be proud of their accomplishment?
In the days following November 4th, Jan Shipps, president of the Mormon History Association (and, interestingly, a non-member), said in an interview: "I think they probably are really astonished that there are demonstrations at temples all over the nation"
I agree with her. I believe church leaders were truly surprised and caught off guard by the back lash following November 4th. I think they truly do not understand the anger the GLBT community has towards Mormon's right now. In their minds, they were simply 'standing up for what they believe' and cannot comprehend why others will not respect that. They don't seem to understand the difference between passively standing up for what you believe - and aggressively going on the offensive to ensure that others comply with what you believe.
They just do not "get it", nor will they even acknowledge that they don't "get it" - and that is what saddens me most.