Jeff Bezos and his wife, responding to an email from an Amazon employee, have made what is the largest single donation to the cause of same-sex marriage in the United States to support passage of a referendum in Washington state.

Amazon, Nike, Microsoft and Starbucks publicly confirmed their support for Washington’s same-sex marriage law earlier this year when the issue was being debated in the state Senate.

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed Washington’s same-sex marriage law in February. But in early June, near the time the law was to take effect, opponents submitted enough signatures to put the law on the ballot in November.

Although the Bezos donation doubles the amount of money available to Washington United for Marriage, victory in November is not assured. Opponents of same-sex marriage have prevailed in all 32 instances in which the issue has been put to a vote across the country.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

Jennifer Cast, a former Amazon employee who is a lesbian and the volunteer finance co-chair for Washington United for Marriage, emailed Jeff Bezos Sunday asking him to donate between $100,000 and $200,000 to the effort, writing:

I want to have the right to marry the love of my life and to let my children and grandchildren know their family is honored like a ‘real’ family. We need help from straight people. To be very frank, we need help from wealthy straight people who care about us and who want to help us win.

Cast received a reply Tuesday night, that said: “Jen, this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5m. Jeff & MacKenzie.”

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