HRC Blog

Nordstrom Supports Marriage Equality

Post submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Nordstrom is the latest major company to support marriage equality. In an email sent to employees this morning, the company’s leadership said (emphasis added):

With respect to our gay and lesbian employees, Nordstrom was an early adopter of adding sexual orientation to our anti-discrimination policy, which means we guarantee the same legal rights and protections in our workplace to gay and lesbian employees just as we do for other employees regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical, mental or sensory disability, and gender identity. This goes beyond the Federal government’s protection in Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which still excludes sexual orientation. In 1998, we began offering life partner benefits to employees.

We feel the next step in this journey is to now support freedom to marry, also called marriage equality. There is a lot of awareness of this issue across the country and we’ve heard from many employees and customers. We gave this thoughtful consideration and felt the time was right to come out in support of this civil rights issue. It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as all other employees. We also believe supporting freedom to marry will help us create a more attractive and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees. Again – this decision is consistent with our long-time philosophy of inclusivity and equality for our customers and employees.

Other companies that have voiced their support for marriage equality - either in critical states or via opposition to the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act - include Amazon, Microsoft, Nike, Vulcan, Google, Aetna, Levi, Starbucks, Xerox, and Zipcar.

Nordstrom – which totals nearly $11 billion in annual sales – achieved a 100 on HRC’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index.

Washington United for Marriage campaign manager Zach Silk spoke to the power of Nordstrom’s endorsement, especially in the four critical ballot states: “We are so honored to have one of the most iconic brands in retail across the country support freedom to marry....Their position on this subject aligns with their commitment to inclusivity – and at the heart of it, freedom to marry is about equality for everyone.”


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