Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have donated US$500,000 to the campaign to keep Washington state’s gay marriage law.

MSNBC reports that the donation was announced last week by Washington United for Marriage, which is working to approve Referendum 74.

Bill Gates had made a US$100,000 contribution to the campaign earlier this year.

About $11 million has been spent on the campaign so far, the majority spent by gay marriage supporters.

Washington’s Referendum 74 will decide the fate of a gay marriage law which passed in a 55-43 vote in the state House earlier this year.  The bill was signed by Governor Chris Gregoire – who introduced it – but opponents managed to garner enough signatures to put the measure to a vote via ballot measure.

About $11 million has been spent on the campaign so far, with a bulk of it spent by gay marriage supporters.

Polls have support of gay marriage up against opponents, but within the margin of error.

An Elway Poll of 451 likely voters two weeks ago saw marriage equality support leading 49-45 percent. A month earlier, supporters led, 51-37 percent.

Gay marriage referendums are also on the ballot in the US states of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota.

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