HRC Blog

Big Business Comes Out in Support of Marriage Equality in Washington State

Washington United For MarriageToday in Washington State, Microsoft, Group Health, Nike, Vulcan, Concur and Real Networks joined a growing list of businesses in the Northwest to endorse marriage equality and urge the Washington State legislature to pass the legislation this year.

HRC and Washington United for Marriage, a broad statewide coalition of organizations, congregations, unions and business associations that work to obtain civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in Washington State in 2012, cheered the announcement.  These companies join more than 70 businesses that signed onto the Washington United for Marriage Business Coalition. The bills, SB6239 and HB2516 will be heard in senate and house committees on Monday, January 23.

Here is the statement from Washington United’s campaign manager, Zach Silk:

Washington United commends and thanks Microsoft, Group Health, Nike, Vulcan, Concur and Real Networks for supporting loving and committed lesbian and gay couples in the state by making their support for marriage equality known.  Marriage equality would put Washington businesses in the strongest, most competitive position to attract, recruit and retain the best and brightest employees -- and to keep high-caliber talent in the state.   With hearings on the bills scheduled for this coming Monday, the momentum continues to grow in support of bestowing equal dignity and respect on all Washington families.

And here’s a portion of what Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, had to say:

We believe that passing this bill would be good for our business and good for the state’s economy. I wanted to take a few moments to explain why.

At Microsoft, we pride ourselves on our products and services, our brand, and our global reach. But unquestionably, our employees are our greatest asset.

To be successful, it’s critical that we have a workforce that is as diverse as our customers. Every day, the national and global economies are becoming more diverse. The lifeblood of a business is its ability to understand and connect with its customers. We’re no exception. Now more than ever, the most effective workforce is a diverse workforce.

To see the entirety of the comments from Microsoft, you can visit their official blog by clicking here.

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