Mitt Romney has never hidden the fact that he has a promised tithe to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but according to his tax returns released today, he gives back more to the Mormons than he pays to the federal government. Since 2010, the Romneys have given $7 million to charity, but over $4 million of that went directly to the Mormon Church, while they paid only $3 million to the IRS last year.
The Mormon Church is notoriously anti-gay, having raised an estimated $22 million in support of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, in addition to providing close to 90 percent of the early door-to-door volunteers advocating for the discriminatory measure. Because of blowback from this effort, LDS has been less aggressive in anti-gay campaigns, although just last week church leaders endorsed Minnesota’s marriage discrimination amendment. Some have questioned whether its involvement in ballot measures should compromise the church’s tax-exempt status and there is an on-going petition calling on the IRS to revoke it.
Though Romney never specifically endorsed Prop 8 aside from opposing same-sex marriage in general, the Church’s success in passing the measure may have helped advance his credibility among social conservatives.