The Huffington Post | By Timothy Stenovec
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are coughing up a bit of cash for marriage equality.
According to the Associated Press, Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, and Ballmer, the company's CEO, have each written $100,000 checks to Washington United for Marriage, a same-sex marriage advocacy group based in Seattle.
In February, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, and the law was to go into effect on June 7. But that was put in hold last month when opponents gathered enough signatures to put the the bill up for referendum in the November general election.
According to its website, Washington United for Marriage "is a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and businesses working together to defend civil marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples."
A Microsoft spokesperson told The Huffington Post that the company doesn't comment on political contributions made by employees, including the CEO.
"Those are personal decisions and we respect them as such," the spokesperson said.
Gates and Ballmer aren't the only high-profile members of the technology community to make significant contributions for marriage equality. Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook and the editor-in-chief of the New Republic, promised Mainers United for Marriage that if the campaign raised more than $100,000, he and his now husband, Sean Eldridge, would match the donation, according to the Bangor Daily News. Mainers United for Marriage announced last month that it had raised more than $120,000.
For its part, Microsoft endorsed legislation for marriage equality for same-sex couples in January, writing on the official company blog that "passing this bill would be good for our business and good for the state’s economy."
Microsoft joins a number of technology companies that have come out in support of marriage equality, including Amazon, Apple and Google.