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Although many evangelicals were not quite ready for a Mormon presidential candidate this election season, others were quick to join Mormons' efforts to pass California's ballot proposition banning same-sex marriage.

Evangelicals were the largest group of Americans who expressed reservations about voting for a Mormon candidate in surveys conducted last year. But leaders of the successful Proposition 8 campaign said that evangelicals, Mormons, and Roman Catholics cooperated more extensively than ever before to rally California to ban gay marriage.

"I think this is the ironic part, because everybody seems very content to work together on these issues of common values," said Mark DeMoss, an evangelical publicist and early supporter of Mitt Romney. "But the moment a Mormon man presented himself as a candidate for President, people said, 'That's a line we as evangelicals can't cross.' "

Advocates of Proposition 8 estimate that Mormons contributed at least half of the nearly $40 million raised for the ballot initiative, which about 80 percent of evangelicals in California supported. Since Election Day, Mormon churches have fielded protests across the country. California's fair-elections commission is investigating a complaint that contends that the LDS Church provided significant contributions to the campaign that it did not report.

More than 4,000 people have signed an online petition thanking the LDS Church for its Proposition 8 efforts. Those who signed the letter include Charles Colson of Prison Fellowship, James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Evangelicals were content to partner with Mormons on Proposition 8 because the groups agreed ...

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December 2008

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