Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO
Steve Ballmer have each donated $100,00 to Washington United for
Marriage, the coalition of groups working to uphold the state's gay
According to The Associated Press,
the contributions were received on Friday and reported to the state
Public Disclosure Commission on Monday.
The marriage law, which was approved by
lawmakers at the urging of Governor Chris Gregoire, was set to take
effect last month 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 public referendum.
“It's going to make a tremendous
difference,” Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for
Marriage, said about the contributions. “It's very important for
us to have that broad support from business leaders and companies
Also Friday, Brad Smith, general
counsel for Microsoft, made a $25,000 donation to the campaign.
Microsoft was among the
Washington-based companies which supported passage of the law. Also
endorsing marriage equality were Nike, Starbucks, Google and Amazon.