Expedia Comes Out in Support of Marriage Equality

Washington United for Marriage raises more than $7 million and some big business support.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

September 05 2012 3:52 PM ET

Washington United for Marriage, the organization fighting to protect marriage equality in Washington State today announced it raised nearly $1.8 million in August alone, bringing the campaign's total fundraising to an impressive $7.3 million. The organization also announced that it has garnered the largest number of individual donors in any Washington State ballot campaign, with 13,866 individual contributors.

Online travel giant Expedia came out in support of marriage equality, WUM, and Referendum 74, which allows marriage equality in the state of Washington to continue. Expedia, Inc. — and its subsequent brands like Hotels.com, Hotwire.com and Classic Vacations — is based in Bellevue, Wash.

"We strive to actively promote equality in our workplace and are committed to treating one another with respect and dignity," said Expedia CEO and President Dara Khosrowshahi in the announcement declaring support for marriage equality. "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."

The California-based Courage Campaign also announced its support of WUM on Tuesday. The Courage Campaign, a progressive organization on the front lines of fighting and reporting on Proposition 8, announced on September 4 that it would invest at least $25,000 in direct contributions, in addition to staff, volunteers, and phone banks to help WUM keep marriage equality in Washington.

"Our mission is simple — we will not rest until equality is the law of the land," said Rick Jacobs, founder and chair of the Courage Campaign. "This is the civil rights issue of our time and we will be investing major resources in Washington to ensure the historic act of the governor is not overturned."

Washington's Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law in February, but opponents of the legislation gathered enough signatures to refer the issue to voters. On November 6, Washingtonians will be asked to vote for or against Referendum 74. A "yes" vote is in favor of maintaining marriage equality in the northwestern state, whereas a "no" vote signifies opposition to same-sex marriage.

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