Photo: Charlie Rose
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced a gift Friday of $2.5 million to the campaign to defend Washington’s same-sex marriage law.With the gift, Washington United for Marriage has raised more than $5 million for the Referendum 74 campaign. Last month Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000 to support the law.
Referendum 74 was certified for the November ballot in May after gay marriage opponents in the group Preserve Marriage Washington turned in more than 240,000 signatures. It seeks to overturn the gay-marriage law signed in February by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
The law was supposed to take effect June 7 but has been put on hold.
A “yes” vote on the referendum upholds the law, and a “no” vote overturns it.
Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C. Maryland legalized gay marriage this year as well, but that state also is poised to have a public vote this fall.
In Maine, voters will decide on an initiative to approve same-sex marriage three years after a referendum overturned a law passed by the Maine Legislature. And in Minnesota, voters will decide whether to pass a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.