Microsoft contributed $100,000 to Approve Referendum 71

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.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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