Microsoft, Nike back marriage equality in Washington state


Microsoft and Nike on Jan. 19 in endorsed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state.

Marriage equality bills have been introduced in the Washington House and Senate and endorsed by Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Hearings on the bills could take place early next week. In the House, enough votes exist for passage, but the bill is a vote short in the Senate. 

Earlier this week, Washington’s Catholic bishops posted their opposition to the marriage equality bill in a letter on the Archdiocese of Seattle website and urged Church members to lobby lawmakers.

Corporate support for the marriage bill includes Microsoft, Vulcan, Real Networks, Nike, Group Health and Concur. In a joint letter to Gregoire, the top officers of the corporations said, “We write you today to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.”

Microsoft also released a statement: “Microsoft is joining other Northwest employers … in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. This position builds on our history of supporting corporate and public policies that promote inclusion and equality.

“Microsoft’s greatest asset is a talented workforce as diverse as our customers. As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington’s employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, equitable and inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. This legislation would put Washington employers on equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples. Passing the bill would be good for our business and for the state’s economy.”