At a recent Human Rights Campaign fund raising event in San Francisco, openly gay millionaire Bruce Bastian put his money where his mouth is by writing a check for $1 million of his own money to fight California's passage of Proposition 8 – the constitutional amendment that would once again ban gay marriage in the state. It was a challenge to other donors who had yet to contribute.

“I know there are people waiting in the wings and I wanted to nudge them, to inspire them,” he said.

Bastian is one of a small group of philanthropic gay millionaires who are using their fortunes to effect political change.

Jared Polis just won Colorado's 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary race and in an overwhelmingly Democratic district is a shoo-in to be elected the third openly gay member of the House. But Polis is not campaigning for a job. That's because the thirty-three-year old former member of the Colorado State Board of Education is a millionaire. Instead, Polis appears to be motivated by activism.

A picture of Polis and partner, writer Marlon Reis – the pair holding hands high above their shoulders in victory as they celebrate Tuesday's win – on the cover of national newspapers is proof enough that the millionaire is out to change minds about gays.

Bastian, the co-founder of Wordperfect Corporation, has “always been quiet about his [GLBT] giving,” Michael Marriott, Executive Director of the B.W. Bastian Foundation, told On Top Magazine.

That certainly has not been the case with his recent donation to fight passage of Prop 8 in California. Marriott says that's because the Mormon Church has been so outspoken on the issue. In a letter, church leaders called on California Mormons to “do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating all your means and time.”

“That made him really mad,” Marriott said.

Bastian is a former Mormon and graduated from Mormon supported Brigham Young University. Several years after coming out, Bastian left the church over various church doctrines opposing homosexuals. Now, with his four children grown, Bastian has become increasingly vocal in his support for GLBT issues.

In a rare interview with the local Salt Lake City ABC affiliate, Bastian was asked if he believed the Mormon Church should change its stance towards gays. “I don't think anything I say or do will ever change that. It's my opinion and they are where they are because that's what they believe. But, yeah, I personally believe it's wrong,” he responded.

Polis is a liberal philanthropist as well. He founded schools both for the homeless and for immigrants with the millions he accumulated from Internet companies and

On his website ( he addresses America's most pressing GLBT inequalities, such as workplace discrimination, marriage rights, and the military's ban on GLBT people serving openly.

“To strengthen our national defense, we must cease the removal of capable and courageous members of our military based exclusively on their openness about their sexual orientation,” Polis said.

Polis campaigned on bread-and-butter Democratic issues, such as ending the Iraq war and universal health care, not just gay issues. Still, he pressed the flesh at gay pride festivals and told the Denver Post that he looks forward to taking Marlon to a delegation dinner in Washington D.C. and would prefer to sit beside anti-gay Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (Republican).

“I think I can change a lot of minds on a personal level – win people over to show that sexual orientation is not a measure of people's integrity,” Polis said.

When asked why Bastian has taken such a bold position against Prop 8, Marriott answers: “He wants equality.”