US: Washington state marriage equality supporters raise $1m in June
The Washington United for Marriage raised nearly $1 million last month in its bid to keep Washington’s recently-passed marriage equality laws on the statute books following news that a public ballot will be held on the issue later this year.
In campaign to ask voters back the laws, passed by the state legislature earlier this year, $952,000 was donated in the month of June.
Total online contributions were $219,000, with an average donation of just under $70, the group said, and of all contributions, 79 percent gave $100 or less.
So far, more than 7300 people have donated to the Approve Referendum 74 cause, with June bringing in 3245 new donors alone. 90 percent were from within the state.
Campaign manager Zach Silk said: “With more than 4200 individual donors in a single month, it’s clear that people in Washington do not want this law overturned and believe strongly that everyone should be able to marry the person they love.
“We are so grateful to those who understand that money in the door now enables us to build a winning campaign that protects marriage by approving Referendum 74 in November.”
House parties across the state brought in $31,552. Community and family members gave an average gift of $35.
There were two significant major gifts of $100,000 each from Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.
The anti-equality group Preserve Marriage Washington submitted almost 232,000 signatures for Referendum 74, which is nearly twice the number of required signatures to put the measure to a public vote.
While every state ballot on equal marriage so far undertaken in the US has seen voters block marriage rights for gay couples, the left-leaning think-tank Public Policy Polling said last month that voters in Washington may be the first to approve equal marriage. Their polling indicated 51 percent supported equal marriage, with 42 opposed.