US: Companies confirm support for equal marriage in Washington, in full page newspaper advert

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A large number of Washington-based companies have confirmed their support for Referendum 74, the equal marriage bill, which will be voted on next month in the state, by signing up to a newspaper advert.

Washington United for Marriage, an equal marriage advocacy group, funded the advert, which appeared on Sunday morning in the Sunday Seattle Times.

The Olympian posted a link to the full page ad, supported by Amazon, Expedia, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Nordstrum, REI, Starbucks, T-Mobile, and many others, which reads:

“We don’t want our employees, our customers or our friends and neigbors who are gay or lesbian to have to produce a legal document just to comfot a loved on in the hospital or to lose a partner of decades and be told that in the eyes of the government, they are considered a stranger.

“We support allowing all loving, committed couples the freedom to marry because it means every employee is treated fairly, it helps our competitive business advantage and is good for our state’s economy.”

In the ad, the charity also made references to the economic upside to supporting equal marriage, saying that: “economists have projected that allowing same-sex couples fo marry will add $88 million to our state’s economy before 2015.”

The advert urges voters to approve R74, which would make equal marriage legal in the state of Washington. The vote takes place on 6 November, but ballot cards will be posted out as early as this week.

At the end of last week, those opposed to Referendum 74 released a new TV advert titled “Not About Equality,” which immediately begin airing on cable and standard TV channels in the state.

Nordstrom, a large department store chain, was the last company to openly confirm its support for the referendum at the end of last week.

Earlier this month, online travel company Expedia, launched a new promotional video in which an elderly father travels across the US to attend his lesbian daughter’s wedding.

The full list of Washington United for Marriage’s coalition partner companies is published on their website.

As well as in Washington, Maine and Maryland will also be voting on marriage equality on 6 November. At the same time, Minnesota voters will choose whether to make a constitutional amendment which would define marriage as only between one man and one woman.