Jeff Bezos, award-winning LGBT advocate, donates $10,000 to anti-gay Republican

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 13: CEO and founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos participates in a discussion during a Milestone Celebration dinner September 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. Economic Club of Washington celebrated its 32nd anniversary at the event. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has donated the maximum amount to a Republican who has opposed equal marriage, same-sex adoption and anti-LGBT discrimination laws.

The trillion-dollar company’s founder, who last year accepted Human Rights Campaign (HRC)’s National Equality Award while saying that “equality is a core value,” has joined with his wife MacKenzie to give $10,800 to Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, according to INTO magazine.

Gardner, who, as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is one of the most powerful people in his party, has previously voted to stop same-sex couples in his state from adopting children or jointly planning their estate.

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 20: U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) speaks during the first day of Judge Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left on the court by the February 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Gardner has voted against same-sex marriage and adoption (Alex Wong/Getty)

He also moved to block a bill which prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and while he was in the US House of Representatives, repeatedly spoke out and voted against same-sex marriage.

Bezos’s donation, which was reportedly made in September, comes just weeks after Amazon opened a centre in Colorado which employs 900 staff.

And he was joined in contributing to Gardner’s campaign—which is for the 2020 election, not next week’s midterms—by Amazon’s chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky, worldwide consumer CEO Jeffrey Wilkie and senior vice presidents David Clark and Doug Herrington, as well as a number of other less senior employees.

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos delivers remarks during an event announcing commitments from more than 50 companies that have pledged to hire and train veterans and military spouses in the State Dining Room at the White House May 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. On the fifth anniversary of first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's military hiring initiative Joining Forces, Bezos announced a commitment by his company to hire 25,000 more military veterans in the next five years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Bezos urged the HRC audience last year to expose, understand, question and fix inequality (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

In his speech to HRC last year, which he made after he and his wife pledged $2.5 million to the fight for equal marriage in Washington State in 2012, Bezos said that when it came to inequality, “we have to expose it, understand it, question it and fix it. And we… we are fixing it.”

He added: “It’s up to every one of us to keep making progress together.”

PinkNews has contacted the HRC for comment.


Bezos’s donation to Gardner, a member of the Republican Party—which has repeatedly targeted transgender people while controlling Congress and the presidency—comes just months after Amazon UK released a set of guidelines encouraging employees to support their trans colleagues.

The guidelines and associated toolkit teach workers about the use of appropriate pronouns for trans staff, as well as confirming that trans people are allowed to use the bathrooms and uniforms that match their gender identity.