Microsoft Donates $100,000 to Referendum 71 in Washington State

According to a report filed yesterday, it appears that Microsoft has donated $100,000 to efforts to pass Referendum 71 in Washington state, which would retain the "everything but marriage" domestic partner law there.

Slog reports: R71 "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. Microsoft's donation is larger than all the contributions combined
for the campaign to reject R-71, called Protect Marriage Washington,
run by a handful of Christian extremists who have reported only $55,217
in contributions."

You may remember back in 2005 when Microsoft quietly withdrew its support of Washington state anti-discrimination HB 1515, and was accused of doing so because of pressure from right-wing religious leader Reverend Ken Hutcherson. In November 2007, Hutcherson appeared to be back for another round,
threatening executives at a shareholders meeting that he
would be their "worst nightmare" if the company continues to support
gay rights. Wonder if we'll hear from him now.


  1. Jim says

    The Mormon Church is not a church at all but a club that functions as a political action committee and should be taxed accordingly. They should also have a care for their own marriage customs.

  2. Rad says

    When facts and laws are set aside for the fabrication and adoption of a new hypocritical truth, there is little anyone can do to sway those who what to believe in that new truth. That is what organized religion has done to the planet, and after eight years of having a Christian melon head in the Whitehouse, that foot hold is bolder and broader than ever before.

    I am not anti-Christian, I am just pro-lion.

    Time to release the lions.

  3. joe c says

    And isn’t Hutcherson black? Un-fucking-believable. Even an Apple zombie like me is cheering Microsoft for this one. So happy to see they got some gumption. One of these days I’m hoping some major corporation will just get fed up and say, “You know what? FUCK YOU. We try to do what’s right for everyone, but we will never support prejudice. And if that means we lose your business, then that is your decision.”

  4. John says

    Apple donated $100,000 to the gays during the Prop. 8 campaign. Members of the Apple Board of Directors, including Al Gore ($50,000), also donated some money. If the initial stages of the Washington fight are any indication, however, Microsoft’s money will be better spent.

    The Equality California idiots had more money than the right-wing, yet still somehow managed to produce only 1 advertisement per every 9 the nutjobs were churning out. They hired people moonlighting in the McCain campaign to run their campaign to keep same-sex marriage (not a joke).

    In contrast, the folks running this effort to preserve domestic partnerships in Washington State seem to have gotten this weird notion in their heads that advertising is a good idea in a political campaign. And that liberals should be put in charge of a liberal campaign.

    Go figure.

  5. Sam says

    You know, its these type of things that Microsoft does that make me feel bad for bad-mouthing them. I guess I can make it up to them by recommending Windows 7 which I have found to be significantly better than Vista and encourage everyone using Vista to upgrade (which I have already been doing) 😀

  6. Alex Rivlin says

    This is awesome. Apple is pro-gay, Microsoft is pro-gay. Conservatives have nowhere to turn but back to embracing their inner Luddites or finding some evil conservative distribution of Linux that they won’t be able to figure out how to even install!

  7. Nwwoman says

    That a major corporation is allowed to make such contributions should be viewed as wrong by all, on either side of this issue. Having elephants in a room means the elephants make the decisions. This is a cultural issue, an issue that this society should consider and decide upon. It’s a value issue. All in all, it’s a monumental decision that will change our culture and corporations should not have the power to make or break such decisions.