Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has donated the maximum amount to a Republican who has opposed equal marriage, same-sex adoption and anti-LGBT discrimination laws.
The trillion-dollar company’s founder, who last year accepted Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s National Equality Award while saying that “equality is a core value,” has joined with his wife MacKenzie to give $10,800 to Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, according to INTO magazine.
Gardner, who, as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is one of the most powerful people in his party, has previously voted to stop same-sex couples in his state from adopting children or jointly planning their estate.
He also moved to block a bill which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and while he was in the US House of Representatives, repeatedly spoke out and voted against same-sex marriage.
Bezos’s donation, which was reportedly made in September, comes just weeks after Amazon opened a centre in Colorado which employs 900 staff.
And he was joined in contributing to Gardner’s campaign—which is for the 2020 election, not next week’s midterms—by Amazon’s chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky, worldwide consumer CEO Jeffrey Wilkie and senior vice presidents David Clark and Doug Herrington, as well as a number of other less senior employees.
In his speech to HRC last year, which he made after he and his wife pledged $2.5 million to the fight for equal marriage in Washington State in 2012, Bezos said that when it came to inequality, “we have to expose it, understand it, question it and fix it. And we… we are fixing it.”
He added: “It’s up to every one of us to keep making progress together.”
PinkNews has contacted the HRC for comment.
Bezos’s donation to Gardner, a member of the Republican Party—which has repeatedly targeted transgender people while controlling Congress and the presidency—comes just months after Amazon UK released a set of guidelines encouraging employees to support their trans colleagues.
The guidelines and associated toolkit teach workers about the use of appropriate pronouns for trans staff, as well as confirming that trans people are allowed to use the bathrooms and uniforms that match their gender identity.