The political-lobbying arm of Facebook recently made a cash donation of $10,000 to anti-gay-marriage Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes's re-election campaign, sparking some fury in the LGBT community. Reyes is currently fighting to appeal an appeals-court decision that struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage last month, and he's previously said he's "willing to spend whatever it takes to protect the laws and the will of the people" when it comes to gay marriage.
Today, Q Salt Lake reports that Facebook made the donation on May 13, 2014.
They then reached out to the normally LGBT-friendly company, and Facebook's spokesperson replied with the following:
Facebook has a strong record on LGBT issues and that will not change, but we make decisions about which candidates to support based on the entire portfolio of issues important to our business, not just one. A contribution to a candidate does not mean that we agree with every policy or position that candidate takes. We made this donation for the same reason we’ve donated to Attorneys General on the opposite side of this issue because they are committed to fostering innovation and an open Internet.
Facebook also pointed to three pro-gay-marriage/pro-equality candidates whose campaigns they also donated to.
Utah may be very close to having legalized gay marriage after gay marriage advocates won that case in a federal appeals court striking down the state's ban. The New York Times just last week noted that both sides of the Utah fight were angling to get the case heard at the Supreme Court, and they quoted Reyes as saying, "All Utah citizens will benefit when the Supreme Court provides clear finality on the important issue of state authority to define marriage."