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Facebook Defends Decision To Donate $10K To Anti-Gay Utah Politician’s Campaign

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Facebook Headquarters

Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park. (Robyn Beck/Getty Images)

MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — Facebook donated $10,000 to the re-election campaign of a Utah politician who’s fighting to keep gay marriage out of his state.

According to disclosures filed with the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s office, Facebook donated to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ campaign on May 13, 2014.

Utah is currently fighting to overturn an appeals-court decision that struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage last month which would allow more than a thousand Utah couples to wed.

Reyes, who earned his law degree from UC Berkeley, has repeatedly said it’s his duty to defend the state’s ban. Last week in a statement he said, “We recognize this litigation has caused uncertainty and disruption and have accordingly tried to expedite its resolution as quickly as possible.”

When Q Salt Lake asked the diversity-touting social media giant about the donation, a spokesperson responded with:

“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.”

The spokesperson also said Facebook has donated significant contributions to several pro-gay marriage candidates like Mark Herring, the Virginia Attorney General who called the commonwealth’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional ,and Kamala Harris, California’s Attorney General who officiated the wedding of the two female plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case after the Supreme Court overturned it, among other pro-LGBT stances she’s taken.

Facebook also signed onto an amicus brief last March supporting proponents of marriage equality in Utah who challenged the state ban.

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