Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer Both Donate $100K To Washington Marriage Fight

GatesBallmerMicrosoft executives Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer are using their respective fortunes to help defeat an anti-gay marriage referendum in Washington State.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer are each donating $100,000 to support the campaign to uphold Washington state's new gay marriage law, according to The Associated Press.

That law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in February, faces a referendum vote in November.

The AP cites Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, who says the checks were cut on Friday and are being reported to the state Public Disclosure Commission Monday afternoon.

There's good reason to expect a win for equality in November: 51% of voters told Public Policy Polling they support same-sex marriage. Only 42% said they oppose it.

(h/t JMG)


  1. QJ201 says

    “I will never ever support the anti family agenda of Microsoft and I am calling for a boycott” Oh wait…then how will I post my archaic views online? How will I make up flyers for my Gay Shame Rally?


  2. Rick says

    Funny how the real movers and shakers that are propelling gay rights forward–financially and otherwise–are overwhelmingly straight, white, and male…..precisely the group that the Far Left loves to villanize.

  3. Keppler says

    If this means that One Million Moms will announce a boycott of Microsoft, we may see a tech rally in the next few days. Time to buy some MSFT.

  4. daftpunkydavid says

    “There’s good reason to expect a win for equality in November: 51% of voters told Public Policy Polling they support same-sex marriage. Only 42% said they oppose it.”

    There’s good reason to be cautious, and humble, and not get people’s expectations too high. remember November 2008? Barely 4 years ago…

  5. Matt N says

    Time to uninstall Windows, Brian Brown!

    No iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone either.

    No Google or Bing search.

    Good luck!

  6. Rick says

    @DAFTPUNKYDAVID Yeah, I have to agree. Given the “Bradley” effect when it comes to polling on referenda concerning gay rights, I would have to say that 42% admitting that they are opposed in one of the most socially liberal states in the country is very bad news at this point.

    A loss in Washington state would perhaps be the most devastating to date, given its demographics–very few Evangelicals–black or white–and a fairly affluent, well-educated population.

    If we can’t win at the ballot box there, it is hard to imagine that we could win anywhere…..

  7. says

    Dear Rick,
    “referundum” is a gerund , not a noun. Hence the plural is “referendums” not “referenda”
    Thank you for playing.

  8. greg says

    Smart move. Only 100k each isn’t really worth crowing about and will probably deflect any serious attack from the insipid right. Now if those two were REALLY serious about defending the rights of their MANY gay employees then they would have EACH donated at least 250k. The amount of interest each probably makes before 5pm every day.

    I’m rather ashamed of my home-town boys, I must say.

  9. greg says

    Alice, do you see my name in any Microsoft headlines? I’m doing what I can to get BY but will do what I can. It’s about proportion and that is why I said what I did.

  10. St. Theresa of Avila says

    I think this is the equivalent of the average person contributing 10 cents, but as my Mom always says about gifts, “it’s the thought that counts”.

  11. Bob says

    Yes, this is good — and to those who think these 2 should give more, it’s not over yet.
    Yes, the 51% is disheartening at best, giving lots of room for the evil cathlolic bishops and mormons to do their work against freedom.

  12. Dave says


    I agree with you on a lot of things, but you really need to STFU about things you don’t understand. The “Bradley effect” in the context of gay marriage polling manifests as anti-gay votes reporting that they are undecided. There has not been any misreporting of the level of pro-gay support.

    So when we see a poll that shows 51-42 support for gay marriage, we can be confident of the 51% level of support. We would have to assume that the undecideds will break overwhelming for the antigay side. But that still means we have a genuine, if slim, lead. And this lead has been replicated in other polls, and it has been wider.

    We don’t need pessimism based on misinformation.

  13. says

    And unlike NOM’s rich supporters, they aren’t embarrassed for anyone to know about their donation.

  14. Nick says


    If that were the case, then there would be no agenda.

    Yours sincerely,

    A Fellow Pedant

  15. gayalltheway says

    I was contemplating on getting a Windows phone for my next upgrade and this really sealed the deal for me.
    I like how the company has refreshed and rebranded themselves to appeal to a bigger crowd.
    100K is a generous gift regardless of how much they make in a minute/hour/year.

  16. Dean says

    Rick wrote: “Funny how the real movers and shakers that are propelling gay rights forward–financially and otherwise–are overwhelmingly straight, white, and male…”

    The legislation was introduced and championed by our female governor, Chris Gregoire.

  17. Henry says

    100k??!! That’s all??!! Seriously, these folks are DROWNING in cash and all they can come up with is a lousy $100K (granted, it’s WAY more that I can donate, but…)??

  18. UFFDA says

    Thank you gentlemen, very much. We need every dime and especially respected high profile doners, the kind who have already significantly helped to redesign the world.

    Again Rick, thanks for your cautionary input.

  19. Icebloo says

    I have so much respect for these two men for doing this for us. They aren’t gay. They really didn’t HAVE to get involved at all but they have chosen to step up and do the right thing.

  20. UFFDA says

    MICRO NERD – Shut up you imbecile.

    And HENRY, you’re complaining? What in the hell’s the matter with you? Ever heard of gratitude? Go to your room and stay there!

  21. Rick says

    @UFFDA Why are you surprised? If a woman had done this, they would be bowing at her feet and heaping praise on her. But because it is two straight men, most of them either complain that they did not do more….or comment negatively on their physical appearance.

    As I have pointed out before, these people hate men, plainly and simply…..even men who go out of their way to help them.

    They are sick people; they really are.

  22. Rick says

    @DAVE I beg to differ. The “Bradley effect” pertains not only to the undecided, but also to people claiming they are going to vote in favor of someone or something because they think that is what the pollster wants to hear. So 51% almost surely means less than 50%, although how much less is hard to say.

    Any way you slice it, this looks very bad, particularly since turnout among the young that supported Obama in droves 4 years ago is likely to be down this year, given their diminished enthusiasm for him…..and the young constitute a large proportion of that 51%.

    Just calling it like I see it.

  23. anon says

    They’ve always been very pro-gay at MS, largely because Bill Gates noticed how horrible work conditions were over at Apple and how it was affecting morale back in the early 80’s.

  24. Mike says

    God Bless Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, they are for freedom and equal rights, the correct side to be on. I hope the African Americans know that after all of their years of slavery and oppression in Jim Crow America.

  25. UFFDA says

    RICK – I don’t know about hating men but gay guys in my experience are definitely among the most shallow, tempermental, sex obsessed nitwits I have ever encountered. I know many, however, who are healthy and contributing people. Generalizations are hard, if I hung out with truckers I’d no doubt find a lot of them far below par as well.

    What I really love are gay men who have distinguished themselves in the world on the world’s terms. Do you know about Jay Keasling? A perfect example – gay guy from Nebraska inventing gas from switchgrass, high profile sweetheart, raising two adopted boys, see short piece on him from NOVA. Big hero of mine.