Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, Donate $100,000 Each To Support Gay Marriage

Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer and company founder Bill Gates have pledged $100,000 each to support the Washington United For Marriage campaign to uphold the state of Washington’s new gay marriage law.

Zach Silk, the campaign manager for Washington United For Marriage, said:

“It’s going to make a tremendous difference. It’s very important for us to have that broad support from business leaders and companies themselves.”

The Post Intelligencer reports that the law, which was signed by Governor Chris Gregoire in February, faces a referendum at the end of this year. Referendum 74, which would repeal the law, has seen a lot of support this year. The Seattle Times reports that the referendum received twice the number of signatures it needed to get on the November ballot.

Microsoft, as well as companies like Starbucks and Nike, came out in support of gay marriage in Washington earlier this year. In a statement entitled “Marriage Equality in Washington State Would Be Good for Business,” the company argued that in addition to the equal rights thing, legalizing gay marriage was also good for business.

Microsoft said:

“Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.”

Gay marriage got another big backer as CNN reporter Anderson Cooper came out of the closet earlier today.