If passed in November, Referendum 74 would legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Washington. A former Amazon employee who is now a fundraising chairwoman for the pro-referendum effort e-mailed Jeff Bezos asking for his financial support. In the message, she included her own story of wanting to be able to marry her longtime partner and have their family be treated like a “real” family.
“We need help from straight people,” she wrote. “To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.”
“Jen,” Bezos replied, “this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.”
Amazon’s Founder Pledges $2.5 Million in Support of Same-Sex Marriage
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.
(photo by Matthew Staver/Bloomberg News via NYTimes.com)