Today’s headlines have been dominated by the news that Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s donated $2.5 million to the Washington United for Marriage campaign. You may recall last month Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmerand co-founder Bill Gates each donated $100,000 in support of Referendum 74. This news is definitely a game changer for the campaign.
Washington United for Marriage Campaign Manger Zach Silk sent out an email right away with this message: “This historic gift shows that marriage is a mainstream issue and that people understand that the time to stand up and be counted is now. In a moment like this, one that practically leaves me speechless, I just want us to say “Thank You Jeff and MacKenzie” in the loudest way possible.”
With the donation, the campaign has now raised $5 million.
Upon this news Preserve Marriage Washington also jumped into action.
Chairman Joseph Backholm sent this statement in an email: “The stakes could not be higher in this race. Let’s make sure we are the ones who determine what our children need — not a few people with a lot of money. If activists have their way in Washington, marriage will be a genderless institution, and our children and grandchildren will be the ones who suffer.”
For the record, Preserve Marriage Washington’s email came to my inbox 33 minutes before Washington United for Marriage’s did. This race is going to be close folks.
Same sex marriage goes to voters here in November.
And, since we’re on the issue, Chick-Fil-A, has also taken a stand in the gay marriage debate. President Dan Cathy said in an interview, “I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,' and I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is about.” This caused quite a firestorm. OK, Chick-Fil-A isn't based in Washington, but still…
Sad side note here: it was reported today that the company’s public relations director, Don Perry, died of an apparent heart attack.
Over in North Carolina the ageing Billy Graham is throwing his two cents in on this issue. He announced his support for Cathy and plans to launch My Hope with Billy Graham neighborhood outreach across America next year. Our WilmingtonFAVS site reports, “In a letter this week, Graham wrote: “My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented. I believe the same thing can happen once again, this time in our nation. It’s something I long for, and my son Franklin recently shared a vision for perhaps the greatest challenge in the history of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association—to launch an outreach called My Hope with Billy Graham that would bring the Gospel into neighborhoods and homes in every corner of America next year.”
So that’s what’s happenings statewide and across the country. What are your churches and/or organizations doing around Spokane in regards to Referendum 74?
And this is officially the longest religion wrap-up ever…
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.