SEATTLE — Seattle Pride has a message for Amazon: Pride is earned, not bought. Pride on Tuesday announced it was cutting ties with its former sponsor, citing the shipping giant’s extensive ties to anti-LGBTQIA+ politicians and organizations.
In a statement announcing the severing, Seattle Pride accused Amazon of using its sponsorship “rainbow wash” its image— that is, using its sponsorship of pride to claim to be supportive of LGBTQIA+ people, while donating to anti-gay politicians and movements behind the scenes.
“We believe it’s our responsibility to be aware of our partners’ values and year-round business practices, words, and actions to ensure they align with ours,” the statement reads. “If there is a corporate logo next to ours, we must confirm they have earned that honor – and with it, their responsibility to the queer and trans communities.”
In particular, Pride organizers cite Amazon donation of more than $450,000 to lawmakers who voted against the Equality Act in 2020, and $11,000 in donations to Washington lawmakers who pushed anti-transgender bills HB 1556 and HB 1960 and critical race theory bills HB 1886 and HB 1807.
“We simply cannot partner with any organization actively harming our community through the support of discriminatory laws and politics,” Seattle Pride said.
Pride also expressed concern with the AmazonSmile program, which allows buyers to donate a small portion of their purchase to a charity of their choosing. Among the charities supported by AmazonSmile are at least 40 anti-LGBT groups.
“It’s critical Amazon and other corporate partners of Seattle Pride – and for other Pride events nationally – do not allow their platforms to be used by organizations which are actively working against the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.”
Pride celebrations in Seattle trace back to 1947, Seattle Pride said. While at the time, very few businesses wanted to associate with pride celebrations, times have changed, and Seattle Pride now partners with around 100 local businesses, and attracts nearly 500,000 parade-goers each year.
Pride Month is this June, and Seattle Pride will return with its annual parade through downtown Seattle on Sunday, June 26th. It is the 4th largest Pride celebration in the country, according to organizers.
Source: Bellevue Patch