When a former employee emailed Jeff Bezos to ask for some cash to support a gay-marriage referendum in Washington state, she asked him to consider ponying up between $100,000 and $200,000. Instead, she landed $2.5 million for the cause. "This is right for so many reasons," Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, replied. The donation makes the Amazon founder one of the biggest donors to the gay-marriage cause in the country, the New York Times reports.
The money goes to an effort to keep gay marriage alive in Washington as it faces an upcoming referendum. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have donated $100,000 each to the cause, but the $2.5 million donation doubles what gay-marriage supporters have raised so far. "To get this from a straight, married couple sends a powerful message that marriage is seen as a fundamental question of fairness," says an activist.