New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Monday that he’ll spend another $500,000 of his personal fortune to support marriage equality campaigns in Maine, Minnesota and Washington state in an effort to help the campaigns raise an equal amount.
Bloomberg pledged $250,000 to Washington United for Marriage, $125,000 to Mainers United for Marriage and $125,000 to Minnesotans United for All Families. The pledges will help each group raise additional money by matching new contributions made in the final days leading up to the November 6 elections.
If the challenge is successful, it will raise $1 million for the cause of marriage equality in the three states.
“Government has no business denying marriage licenses to a whole class of couples in Maine, Minnesota, Washington or anywhere else,” said Bloomberg, in a statement.
“The 14th Amendment guarantees us all equal protection under the law, and marriage equality is the next big step in America’s long march of freedom. The barriers to it are bound to fall; the question is not if but when. I was proud to help support the successful effort to achieve marriage equality in New York State, and I’m proud to stand with supporters of marriage equality around the country this November.”
Mainers United for Marriage is a coalition supporting Question 1 on Maine ballot, which, if passed, would allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Minnesotans United for All Families is a coalition working to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota.
Washington United for Marriage is a coalition working to pass Referendum 74, which would ratify a bill passed earlier this year and signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire legalizing same-sex marriage in the state.
Last week, Bloomberg announced the creation of his own “Super PAC,” with plans to contribute at least $10 million before Election Day to help elect moderate candidates from both parties who he believes will “focus on problem solving,” and to support policy issues such as legalizing same-sex marriage.
Earlier this month, he announced a $250,000 contribution to Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a group that supports passage of that state’s referendum that would ratify a state law legalizing same-sex marriage.
Bloomberg, whose net worth is estimated at over $25 billion, has been an active proponent for marriage equality.