From appearances at San Francisco Pride to cutesy pro-marriage equality stickers, Facebook would like you think that they’re on board with LGBTQ rights. When it comes time for the tech giant to put its money where its mouth is, however, it’s not all rainbows and acceptance. Only a month before pride, the Silicon Valley heavyweight gave $10K to staunchly anti-gay Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.
When Reyes was first made Attorney General this past December, he made defending Utah’s same-sex marriage ban priority number one. It was the first issue his office took up and he promised that his office would was "willing to spend whatever it takes” to preserve the ban that had been struck down by a US District Court earlier that month.
According to Think Progress, 41% of Facebook's lobbying cash "went to politicians who voted against LGBT rights.” Facebook has defended itself by saying that it was motivated not by bigotry but by greed. They gave a statement to the Huffington Post which read:
“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.”
In response to Facebook’s donation, Ben Henline, editor of QSaltLake, who first broke the story, has started a Change.org petition “an equal or greater contribution” to Charles Stormont’s campaign. Stormont is not only Reyes’ opponent, but is also a supporter of LGBTQ rights.