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Amazon's Bezos Enters Gay Marriage Debate With $2.5M Worth Of Support

Fast food's Chick-fil-A has been at the center of the culture wars in recent days because of company President Dan Cathy's outspoken opposition to gay marriage.

Online giant Amazon may be the next to be in culture warriors' sights with the news that company founder Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie have, as The New York Times' The Caucus blog reports, "agreed to donate $2.5 million to help pass a same-sex marriage referendum in Washington State."

According to the Times, they've "instantly [become] among the largest financial backers of gay marriage rights in the country."

As Politico notes, "making donations to potentially divisive social issues like gay marriage can carry risks, especially for leaders of companies that sell primarily to consumers. But consumer sentiment can cut both ways on issues like gay marriage and some see it as a reason to buy, not to avoid products."

And in a piece set for All Things Considered later today, our colleague Elyse Hu reports that whatever positions companies or CEOs take, they need to understand the backlashes they may generate.

Chick-fil-A's experience, which has included both calls for boycotts and calls for shows of support, "is part of the wakeup call for companies to understand that social media makes these decisions very, very risky," says University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School marketing professor Americus Reed. "Because it's much easier now for these messages to get out to consumers and consumers to virtually organize."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

In Beyoncé's 'Formation,' A Glorification Of 'Bama' Blackness

Beyoncé's latest song is for the black Southern woman, says National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, who's from Mississippi. It's a message she needed to hear.
WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

WAMU 88.5

Does "Made in DC" Matter?

D.C.'s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Undone Chocolate, got its start in local food incubator space Union Kitchen, part of a wave of interest in locally made products which includes a push for a "Made in DC" logo.

NPR

Video Chat Your Way Into College: How Tech Is Changing The Admissions Process

Virtual reality and other innovations are helping international students and colleges tell if they're a good fit.

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