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Koch Brother Supports Gay Couples

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By Matt Baume

Washington’s anti-gay activists are falling way behind in fundraising, as the pro-equality side gears up for a huge television ad campaign. And support for marriage equality grows, with endorsements from key Republican figures including one of the Koch brothers.

Our top story this week: Anti-gay groups in Washington state had been planning to channel fundraising money through churches. But this week the Public Disclosure Commission pointed out that no organization can act as middleman for campaign contributions. Instead, contributors will need donate the money directly to the campaign themselves.

Fundraising’s been a challenge for the anti-gay side in Washington. They’ve raised less than half a million dollars so far, while the pro-equality side has raised more than six million. Of that, the campaign has dedicated at least five million dollars for TV ads, which are expected to start sometime this month.

Maryland also faces a referendum this November. And the freedom to marry has picked up an important endorsement: Chip DiPaula, the Republican chief of staff for Former Governor Robert Ehrlich.

He’s not the only high-profile Republican supporting marriage equality this week. David Koch, of the famous billionaire Koch brothers, told reporters at the Republican National Convention that he favors legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. He added that although he’s raised millions for Mitt Romney’s campaign, he disagrees with the candidate on marriage.

Some big international advances this week: Tasmania’s lower house has passed a marriage bill. Now it’s on to the upper house, which convenes in three weeks.

And similar bill passed by a landslide in New Zealand. It now faces a few more months of discussion and two more rounds of voting. A June survey shows 63% of Kiwis support the freedom to marry, with 31% opposed.

A new survey in Chile shows support growing at 55% to 41% opposed. Civil union and marriage bills are pending in the country, but no immediate action is planned.

And we’re just a few weeks away from some major Supreme Court news on the fight to overturn Prop 8. Visit AFER.org to sign up for breaking news alerts.

2 Comments

  • 1. Seth From Maryland  |  September 4, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Expedia.Com Backs Marriage Equality In Washington
    Joining the ranks of Bill Gates and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, the travel-booking site Expedia.com today announced that it supports Referendum 74, the ballot measure that would uphold marriage equality in Washington State.
    "As the world's largest online travel company — with operations in well over 30 countries — we know firsthand that the world is a diverse place. Much like our customers, clients, partners, and suppliers, our employees represent a multitude of locations, cultures and experiences," said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, a company whose holdings include Hotels.com and Hotwire.

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/09/expediacom-backs

  • 2. Seth from Maryland  |  September 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Khosrowshahi continued:

    We strive to actively promote equality in our workplace and are committed to treating one another with respect and dignity…Today, we add our voice to the topic of marriage equality. We thoughtfully engage in this public discussion because it has significant impact on our employees, customers, and partners, all with whom we interact daily.

    Supporting the legislation recently passed in Washington State — which provides same-sex couples with the same right to civil marriage that opposite sex couples already enjoy — is a natural extension of our ongoing commitment to the LGBT community.

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