PayPal pledge will follow a slew of supportive messages from big technology names, including Google, Uber, Twitter, HP, and from Apple, which issued a statement in support of changing Australian marriage laws the day before its iPhone X launch last month.
The new financial commitment will also come after PayPal canned a major operations centre in a protest against bathroom laws discriminating against transgender people in the United States.
PayPal Australia small and medium business director Brian McDonnell said technology firms had a “social responsibility” to back the marriage equality movement in Australia, as well as a popular platform with which to raise awareness.
“If you look at tech companies like Microsoft and, locally, Atlassian, they are actively advocating in the same way as PayPal that the result of this survey should be a ‘yes’ and marriage equality should exist for Australians,” Mr McDonnell said.
“Every person in Australia, and broadly around the world, has technology in their pocket every single day and that is a driving force in itself. That really creates a platform to get broad distribution about a critical issue.
“This is not about marriage. It’s actually about equality before the law.”
Mr McDonnell said PayPal would “match any donation up to $250” made on the Equality Campaign website (australiansforequality.nationbuilder.com/matchdonate)up to a total of $50,000.
While the financial boost would arrive near the end of the survey period, with less than a month until the November 7 postal deadline, Mr McDonnell said the donations would “continue the momentum” and remind the remaining 38 percent of registered voters to take part.
PayPal has taken a stance on LGBTI issues overseas, including cancelling its operations centre for North Carolina that would have employed 400 people after discriminatory bathroom laws were passed in the state.
Mr McDonnell, who travelled to Ireland to legally marry his male partner in July, said the company did not expect a significant backlash to its support for marriage equality in Australia.
“People are rational enough to distinguish between an advocacy position and the value of our product,” he said.
“Regardless of whether you are a ‘yes’ voter or a ‘no’ voter, we are the safest way to pay online.”
Some Australian firms have been criticised for supporting marriage equality, however, including Westpac that included an incorrect suicide statistic in an email to staff, and a group within the Commonwealth Bank that issued leaflets encouraging employees to vote in support of same-sex marriage.
The Equality Campaign also appeared to have a cashed-up opposition to battle after the Coalition for Marriage this week confirmed it received a $1 million donation from the Anglican Diocese of Sydney to promote the ‘no’ vote.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will announce the results of the national survey on November 15.