Washington United raises nearly $1 million to uphold the freedom to marry
July 10, 2012
Supporters of the freedom to marry in Washington are working hard and doing all that they can to uphold the recently-passed marriage law in the state. In addition to mobilizing as volunteers for Washington United for Marriage, thousands of supporters of the freedom to marry have offered financial backing to the effort, committed to maintaining marriage for all couples in the state.
In February, Gov. Christine Gregoire approved the freedom to marry bill, but almost immediately, anti-gay activists began collecting signatures to overturn the law. In response, Washington United for Marriage began as a coalition of organizations dedicated to approving Referendum 74, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot and ask Washington residents their stance on the freedom to marry.
During the month of June, Washington United for Marriage raised $952,267, the organization's highly monthly intake yet. Total contributions to Washington United now surpass $2 million.
The huge fundraising achievement is significant because of the kinds of donors who contributed to the cause. Ninety percent of contributors in June were Washington residents, and the majority of the donations - 79% of them - were small contributions of $100 or less. Only two of the donations qualify as "major" - gifts of $100,000 each from Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's co-founder and CEO, respectively.
June saw 4,200 individual donors, including 3,245 new donors. These enormous numbers demonstrate how fervently Washington residents believe in the freedom to marry and how passionately they are striving to uphold this basic principle of fairness at the ballot.
The fundraising totals for June came in just a month after a new poll indicated record support for the freedom to marry in the state. A May poll from The Associated Press showed that 55 percent of respondents want to uphold marriage for all couples, with only 33 percent saying they would reject it. It's wonderful to see support coming in so many different ways - financially, in public opinion polls, and in volunteer booths. Freedom to Marry applauds Washingtonians' dedication to this wonderful campaign.
Zach Silk, the campaign manager for Washington United, also cheered on the organization's supporters. He said:
What's so heartening about June is that people are are doing what they can. Whether that's staffing a phone bank, canvassing at one of our Pride celebrations or hosting a house party for their friends and neighbors. June's overall totals, both in volunteers and donors, shows we're building a winning campaign."