Microsoft is delivering for equality in its home state. Yesterday, The SLOG reported that the company donated $100,000 to the Approve Referendum 71 campaign:
Asserting itself as a powerful advocate for gay rights, the Microsoft Corporation donated $100,000 to the campaign trying to approve Referendum 71, a report filed today with the state Public Disclosure Commission shows (.pdf). If voters approve the measure, they will uphold the state’s domestic-partnership law, but a recent poll shows that only 51 percent of likely voters support the referendum.
This took guts. Microsoft’s brazen role in R-71 will outrage the Ken Hutchersons of the world, who pressured Microsoft for years to back off from supporting gay-rights legislation. And it could also summon conservative interests—e.g., the Mormon Church—to dump money in on the other side. After October 12, state rules block any person or group from donating more than $5,000 to the campaign.
Back in April of 2005, we learned, via Dan Savage at The SLOG, that Microsoft was backing away from its support of an LGBT equality bill in the Washington legislature. It’s easy to forget just how scary things were back in the spring of 2005. George Bush won re-election with a gay-bashing campaign and the gay-haters were feeling empowered. It seemed like our last bastion of support was corporate America. AMERICAblog launched a campaign to get Microsoft to back down — and, they did. Look at Microsoft now. They’re doing what they should be doing.
Approve Referendum 71 needs help to win. The campaign has set up an ActBlue page here.