California's political watchdog agency is proposing to fine the Mormon church $5,539 for contributions to help pass the state's gay-marriage ban two years ago.
Roman Porter, executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, said the agency is scheduled to act Thursday on the monetary penalty, which already has been agreed to by the church.
The fine stems from 17 non-monetary contributions totaling $36,928 that were made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints within about two weeks of the November 2008 election, an FPPC report said.
The watchdog agency concluded that timely disclosure was not made of the Proposition 8 contributions as required by state elections law.
In a written statement Tuesday, the Mormon church said it had not misrepresented contributions but had erred in timeliness of reporting.
"In the last two weeks leading up to the election, the church mistakenly overlooked the daily reporting requirement and instead reported those contributions together in a later filing," the statement said.
Porter declined to discuss details of the case pending Thursday's FPPC action, but he said the proposed $5,539 fine is consistent with the agency's policy of seeking penalties totaling 15 percent of contributions targeted by complaints of late reporting.
The FPPC board can accept the stipulated settlement Thursday -- or reject it and provide guidance on a different fine amount, Porter said.
The Human Rights Campaign, a supporter of same-sex marriage, said the $5,539 fine may seem inconsequential but that it "provides ongoing evidence that the Mormon church was a significant leader in the campaign to repeal marriage equality."
"California requires early disclosure so voters know who's behind these referendum fights and, clearly, the Mormon church worked overtime to keep their full involvement hidden from the people of California," the group said in a prepared statement.
Passage of Proposition 8 effectively reversed a California Supreme Court decision that gave same-sex couples the right to marry. The measure amended the state constitution to prohibit such unions.