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Apple donates $100,000 to fight same-sex marriage ban*

Steve Jobs

Apple is contributing $100,000 to fight Proposition 8, the California ballot measure that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The company's announcement today came as the fight over Prop. 8 grows hotly contested, with recent polls showing the race tightening.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said in a statement:

Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees' same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person's fundamental rights-- including the right to marry -- should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.

Apple becomes the latest prominent Silicon Valley company to speak out against the measure. Google's founders gave $140,000 to the "No on 8" campaign -- $100,000 from Sergey Brin and $40,000 from Larry Page, the San Jose Mercury News reported today. The Internet company, based in Mountain View, Calif., had earlier taken the unusual step of publicly opposing the measure, which would ban same-sex marriage, saying it would have a "chilling and discriminatory effect" on many of its employees.

Some supporters of Prop. 8 have said they would protest businesses that actively oppose the measure unless they make similar donations to ProtectMarriage.com, which is trying to overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriages.

"Our campaign is a campaign of the people," Sonja Eddings Brown, deputy communications director on Yes on 8, said today following Apple's announcement. "We knew we would never be able to compete with the large corporations and Hollywood. We represent the families. We are standing up and pushing back with everything we have."

"I respect everyone's views," she said, "and if it's a corporate view, great."

-- Michelle Quinn

Photo: Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Associated Press

* This post has been updated with response from the Yes on 8 campaign.

 
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