Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos maxed out his donation to anti-LGBTQ Senator Cory Gardner.
According to Federal Election Commission filings, Bezos and his wife MacKenzie each gave the legal maximum of $5400 to the Colorado Republican.
A spokesperson for Amazon confirmed the donations but did not explain them. Eight other Amazon executives also donated to Gardner’s campaign.
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Gardner has a history of opposing LGBTQ equality. In HRC’s most recent Congressional Scorecard, he got a score of 12 out of a possible 100.
The only legislation he voted for that HRC supported was the McCain and Coons Amendment to an immigration bill that would have provided some Dreamers with a path to citizenship.
Gardner refused to co-sponsor LGBTQ legislation like the Equality Act and the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act (to ban conversion therapy) and voted in favor of anti-LGBTQ Trump administration appointees like Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
In 2007, as a member of the state house of representatives, Gardner voted against allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt. He also opposed legislation to make estate planning easier for same-sex couples and voted against banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.
He also opposes marriage equality.
Both CNBC and INTO cite Amazon’s interest in doing business in Colorado and Gardner’s support for tech bills Amazon supported as reasons for the donations.
For example, Gardner was a key supporter of the DIGIT Act, a bill that would create a federal advisory committee with input from tech corporations about devices that connect to the internet. Amazon has spent $3 million lobbying for this bill.
Last year, HRC gave its National Equality Award to Jeff Bezos, whose company has long been one of the better corporations for LGBTQ employees and who also donated $2.5 million to help pass marriage equality in the state of Washington.
Corporate support for equality is often superficial. Corporations put their financial interests above the interests of equal rights, and anti-LGBTQ Republicans can be better for a company’s bottom line.
Land O’Lakes’s donations to a white supremacist, though, led to calls for boycott last week, showing that direct financial interests can sometimes be outweighed by possible damage to a corporation’s brand.
Bezos’s donation to an anti-LGBTQ Republican is unlikely to stir the same outrage.