CEO Steve Ballmer and company co-founder Bill Gates donated $100,000 each on Friday to support Washington state's new gay marriage law, the Associated Press reported Monday.
The law, enacted by the state legislature earlier this year,
is being challenged by Referendum 74, which asks voters whether they would like to uphold the law. Ballmer's and Gates' donations were made to Washington United for Marriage, one of the campaigns asking voters to approve the referendum. (A "yes" vote upholds the law; a "no" vote repeals it.)
According to the AP, the group had raised nearly $1.5 million before the two donations were made.
"It's going to make a tremendous difference," Zach Silk of Washington United for Marriage told the AP. "It's very important for us to have that broad support from business leaders and companies themselves."
Microsoft by joining other Washington businesses in a letter to legislators last January. Several other prominent Northwest-based companies, including Starbucks and Nike, have also voiced their support for the law, according to the AP.