Amazon's Jeff Bezos backs US gay marriage law
Published: 27th Jul 2012 17:56:16
The founder of Amazon.com and his wife are donating $2.5m (£1.6m) to defend a gay marriage law passed in the US state of Washington.
Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are the latest wealthy backers, joining Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates, who each gave $100,000.
Washington is one of four states facing a November referendum on gay marriage.
The law, due to come into effect on 7 June, was put on hold after a petition to vote on Referendum 74 succeeded.
Opponents gathered more than 240,000 signatures in a bid to overturn the law signed in February by Governor Chris Gregoire.
Same-sex marriage is legal in eight US states and the District of Columbia.
The laws are being challenged in Washington and Maryland. The state of Maine is voting to reinstate gay marriage laws that were passed but later overturned, and Minnesota is considering a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Previous gay marriage laws or constitutional amendments have been defeated in 32 state elections across the US.
But President Obama lent his support earlier this year, saying he was now in favour of same-sex weddings.
A campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage called the Bezos donation a "game-changer" in their fight to keep the law in place.
"They understand what's at stake for Washington families and what's at stake for the country," Zach Silk told the Associated Press.
"We're at a tipping point, and they really understand this is an historic moment, and they want to be on the right side of history and want to make history."
The law is opposed by Preserve Marriage Washington, a group which says on its website that "marriage is a unique institution that is profoundly in the common good", their website says.
Washington voters will be asked to vote "yes" to uphold the law or "not" to overturn it.
Mr Bezos, 48, is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 15th wealthiest person in the US, with a personal fortune of $18.4bn as of March 2012.
Meanwhile, a group of pro-Republican hedge fund managers have also given money to the campaigns supporting same-sex laws in the four states that are to vote in November, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Among them are Dan Loeb, a major shareholder of Yahoo; and Paul Singer, founder of Elliott Management and a notable Republican Party donor. They are reported to have supported Freedom to Marry, a group in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, the newspaper says.
They are also said to have contributed to American Unity, a political committee founded by Mr Singer, that gives financial backing to Republicans running for Congress who support same-sex marriage.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Amazon's Jeff Bezos backs US gay marriage law. [Online] (Updated 27 Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.manchesterwired.co.uk/news.php/1443166-Amazons-Jeff-Bezos-backs-US-gay-marriage-law [Accessed 13th May 2013]
At 03:37:59 in OtherOne of Britain's most wanted fugitives is due in court in Madrid later after being arrested at a luxury villa on Spain's Costa Bla...
At 00:10:32 in BusinessIt is an exciting time of year to be a UK sports or music fan, with big cup finals and major name concerts coming thick and fast....
At 18:15:23 in OtherBangladesh has set up a panel to raise the minimum wage for more than three million garment workers, the minister for textiles has said....
At 11:52:59 in OtherOne of Britain's most wanted fugitives has been arrested on Spain's Costa Blanca....
At 10:50:47 in OtherA 17-year-old boy is fighting for his life after being attacked in Manchester city centre, police have said....
At 10:05:34 in OtherA man has been charged with escaping lawful custody after two people were allegedly sprung from a prison van....
At 00:05:36 in OtherStars from the world of TV are preparing for this year's Bafta Awards, with Olympic satire Twenty Twelve and BBC drama Accused among th...
At 10:45:43 in OtherA sheep once sold for slaughter is looking for a new home after turning up on a couple's patio. ...
At 09:33:20 in OtherThousands of football fans from Greater Manchester are making their way to London for the FA Cup final....
At 01:13:49 in OtherA memorial marking the 28th anniversary of the Bradford City football stadium fire, in which 56 people died, is to take place later....
News In Other Categories
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol ba...
Charities which help homeless people discharged from hospital are to get £10m to continue their work....
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) explored the idea of testing all horses slaughtered in the UK months before the food crisis began in January...
A more robust recovery in the Scottish economy could be under way, a report has suggested....
The government has warned overseas graduates who borrowed money to study in the UK that they cannot evade their obligation to repay by movin...
Fifty years after The Spy Who Came in from the Cold made John le Carre an international bestseller, the acclaimed author spoke to the BBC ab...