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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Ballmer, Gates each donate $100,000 to support gay marriage law

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer are each donating $100,000 to support the campaign to uphold Washington state’s new gay marriage law, according to The Associated Press.

That law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in February, faces a referendum vote in November.

The AP cites Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, who says the checks were cut on Friday and are being reported to the state Public Disclosure Commission Monday afternoon.

Backers of Referendum 74, which seeks to overturn the law allowing same-sex marriage in Washington state, got twice the number of signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot in November. (On November’s ballot, a “no” vote would repeal the law; a “yes” vote would uphold the law allowing same-sex marriage.)

Microsoft has been supportive of gay marriage, signing on to a letter in January with other prominent local companies urging the Legislature to pass the gay-marriage bill. In November, it had joined with about 70 major companies nationwide in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

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