Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy caused quite a stir with his anti-gay marriage stance, but the chicken chain executive wasn’t the first to enter his opinion -- and cash -- into the gay marriage debate. Executives ranging from Microsoft founder Bill Gates to General Mills CEO Ken Powell have donated money to support same-sex marriage efforts, while Cathy was joined by Amway president Doug DeVos in his vocal and expensive opposition to gay marriage.
Below are some of the CEOs that have used their money to support and oppose same sex marriage:
Pro-Gay Marriage Executives
Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder
Jeff Bezos, the founder of online retail giant Amazon, and his wife MacKenzie <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/amazons-founder-pledges-2-5-million-in-support-of-same-sex-marriage/" target="_hplink">donated $2.5 million </a>last month to Washington United for Marriage, according to The New York Times. The gift doubled the amount of money available to supporters of Referendum 74, a ballot initiative aimed at legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state.
Bill Gates And Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Founder And Microsoft CEO
The pair <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/bill-gates-steve-ballmer-microsoft-marriage-washington_n_1644532.html" target="_hplink">donated $100,000 each</a> to Washington United for Marriage, the Seattle-based pro-same-sex marriage group.
Ken Powell, General Mills CEO
General Mills CEO Ken Powell was met with backlash after <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/man-fiery-protest-general-mills-pro-gay-marriage-stance-awry-article-1.1131416" target="_hplink">he donated $10,000</a> in an aim to defeat a gay marriage ban in Minnesotta, according to the <em>New York Daily News</em>. One Minnesotta man set a box of Cheerios on fire in front of the company's Minnesotta headquarters in protest of Powell's pro-same-sex marriage stance.
Lisa Henson, Jim Henson Company CEO
After Chick-Fil-A CEO <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html" target="_hplink">Dan Cathy spoke out against same-sex marriage</a>, the Jim Henson Company, which supplied toys for the restaurant chain's children's meals, severed ties with the company. The home of the muppets released a statement saying CEO Lisa Henson, a personal supporter of same-sex marriage, would direct the company <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/story/2012-07-27/gay-marriage-corporations/56544826/1" target="_hplink">to donate its payment from Chick-Fil-A </a> to the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Anti-Gay Marriage CEOs
Dan Cathy, Chick-Fil-A President
The president of Chick-Fil-A created an instant firestorm when he told the <em>Baptist Press</em> that when it comes to his anti-gay marriage stance, he is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html" target="_hplink">"guilty as charged."</a> The charitable arm of Cathy's company donated $2 million to anti-gay marriage groups in 2010, <a href="http://chicago.gopride.com/news/article.cfm/articleid/31910881" target="_hplink">according to chicagopride.com</a>.
Doug DeVos, Amway President
According to ABC News, the president of Amway, which also owns the Orlando Magic basketball team, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/orlando-magic-amway-boycotted-anti-gay-marriage-donation/story?id=16812037#.UCKZl8jLyph" target="_hplink">donated $500,000 in 2009</a> to the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-same-sex marriage advocacy group.
Thomas S. Monaghan, Domino's Founder
The famously pro-life and anti-gay rights Domino's Pizza founder <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamison-doran/chickfila-why-the-outrage_b_1747607.html" target="_hplink">financed a ballot initiative</a> in 2001 aimed at removing sexual orientation from a Michigan city's nondiscrimination ordinance. Still, the company has managed to stay out of the public fray. "We're not a religious company. We're not a political company. We're a pizza company," a <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-08-01/chik-fil-a-appreciation-day-gay-marriage/56668468/1" target="_hplink">Domino's spokesman told <em> USA Today</em></a> last week.
Terry Caster, CEO Of A-1 Self Storage
A-1 Self Storage CEO Terry Caster and his family <a href="http://www.sdcitybeat.com/sandiego/article-5964-cause-im-the-man-and-i-said-so.html" target="_hplink">donated $693,000 to support Proposition 8</a>, a 2008 California ballot initiative banning gay marriage, according to San Diego City Beat.