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Major Corporations Back Wash. Gay Marriage Law

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jan 25, 2012
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Several large corporations voiced their support in legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington State last week and today Starbucks, Google and Alcoa announced they will endorse the gay marriage legislation as well.

The three companies will join Microsoft, Nike and a number of other businesses that announced their support for the state’s gay marriage legislation last week.

Gay rights supporters were thrilled to hear that the huge corporations would support the same-sex legislation and Washington United for Marriage, a statewide organization that works to legalize same-sex marriage, thanked them in a statement.

"We thank Starbucks, Google, Alcoa and the more than two dozen other businesses that recently came out publically in support of marriage equality," said Lacey All, chair of Washington United for Marriage. "Marriage equality provides a multitude of intangible benefits to Washington businesses. Recognizing the relationships of all -- irrespective of sexual orientation -- means an open and innovative business climate that ensures fundamental fairness and basic civil rights for all. The addition of these companies continues to show that momentum in Washington State is on the side of equality for all Washingtonians."

The iconic Seattle coffee chain also issued a statement about its support.

"Starbucks is proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples," Starbucks’ statement said. "Starbucks strives to create a company culture that puts our partners first, and our company has a lengthy history of leading and supporting policies that promote equality and inclusion."

Earlier this month Gov. Chris Gregorie (D) announced that she would support same-sex marriage in Washington, EDGE reported in a Jan. 4 article.

"Today, I’m announcing my support for a law that gives same-sex couples in our state the right to receive a marriage license in Washington - the same right given our heterosexual couples," Gregoire said. "It is time, it is the right thing to do, and I will introduce the bill to make it happen."

In 2005, Microsoft received criticism when it said it would stay neutral on gay marriage. After being slammed by gay rights groups, however, it later changed its stance and began to support LGBT rights.

Several conservative right-wingers were up in arms about the possibility of same-sex marriage coming to Washington. The anti-gay website Free Republic posted a poll last week from the Columbian, which asked, "Should ’gay’ marriage be the law in Washington State?"

A number of readers commented to the post and left bigoted remarks. One person wrote, "There is no such thing as gay ’marriage’. It’s just two folks who are screwed up in more ways than one." Another said, "My state gets sicker and sicker with each passing day. I have little doubt that homo marriage will become law in this failing state."

In a Jan. 23 article, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an anti-gay marriage group, said it would work with other organizations in Washington State in order to "mount a referendum campaign," which would allow voters to vote on "the definition of marriage."

"NOM will not stand by and let activist politicians redefine marriage, the bedrock of civilization, without voters having a say," said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. "Just as we mounted a People’s Veto in Maine and were responsible for qualifying Proposition 8 to the ballot in California, we will make sure that voters in Washington have the ability to decide the definition of marriage for themselves."

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