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Amazon.com CEO Gives $2.5 Million To WA Marriage Campaign

This is a nice little bit of positive PR for a company that's had a bad year, public relations-wise. Between not wanting to pay sales taxes and making warehouse workers perform in extreme temperatures (which they've since remediated, they announced

This is a nice little bit of positive PR for a company that's had a bad year, public relations-wise. Between not wanting to pay sales taxes and making warehouse workers perform in extreme temperatures (which they've since remediated, they announced recently), Amazon needed a feel-good story. I'd say this qualifies:

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, announced Friday they are donating $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 its referendum campaign.

bezos.jpg
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and founder.

“It’s a game changer for us,” said campaign manager Zach Silk in Seattle. “It puts us in unique position to win.”

But, his group is still the underdog, he said. In 32 previous elections nationally, same-sex advocates have lost. Silk said he believes the Washington election may be the turning point, thanks in part to the Bezos’ donation.

“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,” he said.

Amazon publicly supported the law earlier this year, along with other prominent Pacific Northwest businesses, including Microsoft, Starbucks Corp. and Nike Inc.

Last month, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000 to support the law.

Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said the Bezos’ donation was a personal decision and that “Jeff and MacKenzie feel strongly about the issue.”

Silk and officials with two national gay rights groups — Freedom to Marry and the Human Rights Campaign — say Bezos’ $2.5 million donation is the largest publicly reported gift to a marriage campaign. They noted that gay marriage opponents have tried to limit the disclosure of campaign contributions, so they couldn’t be certain whether there was a larger one.

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