SEATTLE — Seattle Pride is cutting ties with Amazon over alleged donations to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and the participation of anti-LGBTQ+ organizations in the company's AmazonSmile program.
Seattle Pride cited reports that the company donated more than $450,000 to lawmakers who voted against the Equality Act in 2020. The bill would have amended the Civil Rights Act to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, federal funding, education and other areas.
The organization also cited $11,000 in contributions Amazon made to Washington legislators who sponsored anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-transgender bills during the 2022 session.
"We simply cannot partner with any organization actively harming our community through the support of discriminatory laws and politics," Seattle Pride said in a statement.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company works with lawmakers on a broad array of topics that impact their business, but that did not mean they agreed with "any individual or political organization 100 percent of the time on every issue."
"This includes legislation that discriminates or encourages discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community," a spokesperson said.
The company went on to cite their support for Seattle Pride and LGBTQ+ issues on a national scale.
“Amazon has long supported Seattle Pride because we believe that the rights of LGBTQ+ people must be protected. We stand together with the LGBTQ+ community, were early and strong supporters of marriage equality, and are working at the U.S. federal and state level on legislation, including supporting passage of the Equality Act," a spokesperson said. "We also work hard to offer an inclusive environment for employees and for five consecutive years we’ve received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Corporate Equality Index.”
Seattle Pride said organizers are also "deeply concerned" about the company's AmazonSmile program, which allows customers to donate to charities as they shop. Seattle Pride cited an investigation revealing more than 40 anti-LGBTQ+ organizations were signed up to receive funds through the program.
Amazon said an organization's participation in the AmazonSmile program does not mean the company endorses their views.
Seattle Pride is hoping to make up the lost sponsorship money through donations.