By Malissa Rogers
Proponents of marriage equality have yet another ally after Nordstrom Inc. officially released a statement on Monday, expressing their support of gays and lesbians right to marry.
The Seattle retailer has joined other Washington-based corporations, such as Starbucks Corp. and Amazon.com Inc., in the ever-growing debate over Referendum 74. If the initiative is passed by voters this November, it would reinstate the law that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington.
"It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides as all our employees," Nordstrom wrote in a memo to employees, according to the Los Angeles Times. “…the decision is consistent with our long-time philosophy of inclusivity and equality."
Company president Blake Nordstrom and brothers Pete and Eric Nordstrom sent out the company-wide memo explaining their stance on the referendum, as well as marriage equality in the United States.
Nordstrom Inc. has already offered its employees domestic partnership benefits and has included sexual orientation in the company’s anti-discrimination policy. However, the brothers wanted to change more than company policy by backing same-sex marriage.
"We feel the next step in this journey is to now support freedom to marry, also called marriage equality," the memo continues, adding that "We gave this thoughtful consideration and felt the time was right to come out in support of this civil rights issue.”