New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is offering to match donations made by the end of the week to campaigns to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine, Minnesota and Washington.
The challenge grant was announced Monday via twitter. Bloomberg pledged $250,000 to Washington United for Marriage, which supports Referendum 74 that would ratify a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, $125,000 to Mainers United for Marriage, which supports Question 1 on the ballot that would allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and $125,000 to Minnesotans United for All Families, a group working to defeat a constitutional amendment that recognizes marriage only between a man and a woman.
In a statement, Bloomberg said that “government has no business denying marriage licenses.”
“The 14th Amendment guarantees us all equal protection under the law, and marriage equality is the next big step in America’s long march of freedom,” he said. “The barriers to it are bound to fall; the question is not if but when.”
Last week Bloomberg announced plans to spend more than $10 million in the weeks leading up to Election Day to promote moderate candidates who have shown a willingness to work in a bi-partisan manner, particularly on issues important to Bloomberg: supporting same-sex marriage, tougher gun control laws and education reform.