Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his
wife, Melinda, have donated $500,000 to Washington United for
Marriage, the coalition of groups working to approve Referendum 74,
which asks voters to uphold – or reject – a gay marriage law
approved by lawmakers.
The AP reported that the donation was
made on October 15, but was made known on Tuesday.
Gates also contributed $100,000 to the
campaign earlier this year.
The marriage law, which was approved by
lawmakers at the urging of Governor Chris Gregoire, was set to take
effect in June but it was put on hold when opponents turned in more
than twice the number of signatures needed to put the law up to a
Gates' gift is the latest in a series
of large donations. On Monday, New
York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave $500,000 to pro-gay marriage
groups in 3 states – topping his giving to the state campaigns
at $750,000. Amazon
CEO Jeff Bezos has donated $2.5 million to Washington United for
Other high-profile large donors include
Singer, the founder of New York-based hedge-firm Elliot
Management, and Paul
Tagliabue, the former commissioner of the National Football