Microsoft Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates, and his wife Melinda, have donated an additional $500,000 to the campaign to uphold Washington’s state’s marriage equality law.
The announcement Tuesday comes from Washington United for Marriage, the broad coalition working to approve Referendum 74, the November ballot initiative that will ask voters to approve or reject the same-sex marriage law passed in the legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year.
“Bill and Melinda Gates made a second contribution to the Referendum 74 campaign because they support marriage equality and believe the law is good for Washington state,” said a family spokesperson.
About $11 million has been spent on the campaign so far, with a bulk of it spent by gay marriage supporters. Washington United for Marriage has far outraised its opponents, bringing in nearly $11 million compared to the more than $2 million raised so far by Preserve Marriage Washington, which opposes the law, reported Associated Press.
“This is just such an incredible gift and comes at a time when we’re seeing significant national money flow to our opponents,” said WUM campaign chair Lacey All. “This is not the first time the Gates have made an investment in our campaign, and it’s a testament to the confidence they have in our ability to make history on November 6th.”
Gates had previously made a $100,000 contribution to WUM on June 29.
On Monday, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $250,000 in matching donations to Washington United for Marriage.
A KCTS-TV poll last week showed that 56.3 percent of registered voters back gay marriage in the state, compared to 35.6 percent who oppose it, with 6.1 percent undecided.