(NEW YORK) — With gay rights activists still riled up over Chick-fil-a’s LGBT criticism, two megastores are taking the opposite stance and making their support for gay marriage as public as possible.
Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos became the biggest financial backer of gay marriage in the country on Friday when he and his wife MacKenzie pledged $2.5 million to support Washington state’s same-sex marriage referendum.
The Bezos’ gift doubled the amount Washington’s pro-gay marriage group Washington United for Marriage had raised so far, the group said in a statement. Washington’s Legislature legalized same-sex marriage in February, but opponents have since collected enough signatures to put the measure before voters in November.
Gay marriage is legal in six states, but despite 32 separate attempts in various states, same-sex marriage has never survived a popular vote.
At the national level, Target is broadcasting its support for equal marriage rights with a wedding registry ad featuring two smiling men dressed in suits and bow ties holding hands and touching foreheads.
“Be Yourself, Together,” is printed in bold red lettering across the center of the advertisement, which encourages couples to build a registry that is “as unique as the two of you.”
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement that the ad is part of Target’s broader commitment to “diversity and inclusion.”
“At the heart of our company are core values which include Target’s long-standing commitment to create an environment where all of our team members and guests feel welcome, valued and respected,” Snyder said. “We believe our current marketing is consistent with this value.”
Two years ago Target earned itself the scorn of gay rights activists after the Minneapolis-based retail giant donated $150,000 to MN Forward, a political group that endorsed GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. Emmer was firmly opposed to same-sex marriage.
Since then, Target has launched numerous pro-equality campaigns. It sold gay pride T-shirts online during June’s Pride month and donated part of the proceeds to the Family Equality Council, an LGBT advocacy group.
And in June, the megastore stocked its shelves with greeting cards for same-sex couples.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jeff Peterson, Deseret News
Aaron Smith, CNN Newswire
Susie East, CNN