Tallaght native donates $1 million to Yes campaign for same sex marriage in Australia

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Tallaght native and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has personally donated A$1 million (670,000) to the “yes” campaign for same-sex marriage in Australia.

The Australian Financial Review say Alan Joyce’s donation is the largest individual contribution so far to the “yes” campaign but it is believed two or three other business leaders have also pledged sizeable donations.

Australia is in the midst of a non-compulsory, non-binding poll to inform Parliament on whether it should become the 25th country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Australians have started receiving postal ballots for the poll, which runs until the end of October, and the issue is dividing the country’s population of 24 million people along religious and generational lines.

 Mr Joyce and his airline have been long-time supporters of marriage equality but the company policy is not to spend shareholders’ money on the campaign.

Qantas have so far declined to comment on their CEO’s donation but Joyce, who is unhappy with the postal survey but accepts it cannot be stopped, gave notice last month while announcing the airline’s full-year results that he was going to dig deep to fight for marriage equality.

“I personally will be donating money to the campaign, a significant amount, because I’m passionate about it. I’ll be spending as much time as the campaign wants me to speak about the cause and why this is important,” he said.

Joyce has been criticised for using his company to promote change but he argued corporations should be vocal on social issues.

“We are vocal on gender equality issues, Indigenous issues and on LGBTI issues.

“That’s what good businesses do.

“They’re part of society.

“They help promote societal changes. They help promote what’s good for our people.”