by Christopher Freeburn | July 27, 2012 12:06 pm
Just a week after sandwich shop chain Chick-fil-A was hammered for opposing gay marriage, Jeff Bezos is wading into the politically controversial subject with a major donation.
The billionaire founder of online retailer Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and his wife have announced their intention to donate $2.5 million to a pro gay marriage referendum campaign.
The money will help efforts to pass Referendum 74, which would uphold the state of Washington’s existing law allowing same-sex marriage. The state adopted that law earlier this year, The New York Times notes.
Advocates for gay marriage have attempted to convince voters to back same-sex marriage, but the issue has consistently fallen short at the ballot box. No statewide popular vote has supported legalization. Bezos clearly hopes that Washington will be the first state to buck that trend.
Backers of Referendum 74 say the donation will be a “powerful message” and will help promote their position to voters.
Amazon is based in Seattle. Other prominent backers of the referendum include Microsoft‘s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bill Gates and Steven Ballmer, who individually donated $100,000 to the cause.
Gay marriage has become a matter of corporate controversy in recent months. Target (NYSE:TGT) has come under fire from conservative activists for selling gay marriage t-shirts in Minnesota. Social media giant Facebook (NYSE:FB) recent added “cake-topper” icons showing two grooms or two brides to its selection of marriage icons to recognize gay unions.
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