Amazon Founder Gives $2.5 Million to Gay Marriage Effort

 

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his wife have pledged $2.5 million to help the campaign hoping to retain Washington’s marriage equality law at the November ballot.

Reports the New York Times:

With the gift, the couple have doubled the money available to the proponents of Referendum 74, which would legalize same-sex marriage in the state by affirming a law that passed the Legislature this year. Courts or lawmakers have declared gay marriage legal in six other states, but backers of such measures have never succeeded at the ballot box.

Proponents of the effort in Washington State called it a game-changing gift that gives them a fighting chance in November.

“To get this from a straight, married couple sends a powerful message that marriage is seen as a fundamental question of fairness,” Zach Silk, the campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, said Thursday in an interview.

The state’s Legislature passed the marriage equality bill in February of this year after Governor Chris Gregoire championed the move.

Unsurprisingly, before the ink was even dry on the bill in fact, anti-marriage equality groups quickly started the process of gathering signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.

When the signatures were counted R-74, as the measure is known, qualified comfortably. However, recent polls suggest that the voting public is in favor of allowing gay couples to marry, with around 54% saying they are inclined to keep the law.

While same-sex marriage has never won at the ballot anywhere in the US, Washington is rather special in that in 2009 it voted to retain a law that expanded the state’s domestic partnership legislation to grant same-sex couples nearly all the state-level rights of marriage, the first time such an expansive law had been approved at the ballot.

Equality advocates hope to build on that success to find victory in November.

 

Related Reading:

Lawsuit Over Washington’s ‘Prejudiced’ Marriage Referendum Title

Gov. Gregoire Signs Washington Marriage Equality Bill

Microsoft Supports Marriage Equality in Washington

WA Lawyer Moves to Repeal Gay Marriage (Before It’s Even Been Legalized)

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to soumit.

77 comments

jenny H.
jenny H.3 years ago

Great to see someone high profile (well, kinda) who is looking out for interests other than his own. Let's hope he starts doing likewise for his own staff...

Ann W.
Ann W.3 years ago

Well, an entrepreneur and a post-boomer generation? Does he read the boards here>

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago

good news

Anita Wisch
Anita Wisch3 years ago

Good start, now let's get everyone to stand up for equal rights for ALL humans!

Mandy Harker
Mandy H.3 years ago

Well done Amazon Founder! I hope all goes well with the voting, marriage equality is important!

Lyn B.
Lyn B.3 years ago

@ James B. also if you type out a comment then hit send and get sent back to "login" again because like me, we took too long typing a too long post ;) it normally doesn't post what you just typed! Which is why I've gotten in the habit of copying my post before I hit send!

Maybe this bit of info can help more than just James!

Christiana B.
Christiana B.3 years ago

Cynthia S. -- Or Jesus was referring to the questions asked him about marriage, which would have been between a man and a woman. It is clear that he was referring to the marriages he was asked about, and the marriages that were extant.

Jesus never mentioned the Earth revolving around the sun, but that doesn't tell us what he believed about the subject.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.3 years ago

This is in response to a comment that Jesus did not talk about homosexuality. He was not specific, though as a Jew and knowledgeable about the Scriptures (Old Testament), he would have known what is in Leviticus. However, Jesus did speak about marriage and it is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. So check out Mark 10: 1-12 and Matthew 19: 1-11.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.3 years ago

This is in response to a comment that Jesus did not talk about homosexuality. He was not specific, though as a Jew and knowledgeable about the Scriptures (Old Testament), he would have known what is in Leviticus. However, Jesus did speak about marriage and it is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. So check out Mark 10: 1-12 and Matthew 19: 1-11.

Stacey D.
Stacey D.3 years ago

Now, if only he'd give the same amount to help the warehouse workers make a living wage. Or at least get air conditioning and water breaks...