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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 27, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 04
Starbucks, Google join list for full marriage equality
Section One
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Starbucks, Google join list for full marriage equality

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Starbucks and Google have joined the list of more than 100 businesses large and small that endorse marriage equality in Washington.

Washington United for Marriage, the group backing the proposed marriage bill pending in the legislature, announced on January 24 that the two companies had joined the list of supportive businesses, which includes Microsoft, Nike, Alcoa, and Group Health Plan.

'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,' said Lacey All, chair of Washington United for Marriage.

'The addition of these companies continues to show that momentum in Washington state is on the side of equality for all Washingtonians.'

Starbucks released a letter saying it was 'proud to join other leading Northwest employers in support of Washington state legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples.'

'This important legislation is aligned with Starbucks' business practices and upholds our belief in the equal treatment of partners,' the company said, adding that it has offered domestic partner benefits to its employees for 20 years.

'These benefits include medical, dental, vision, prescription drugs, and alternative health care coverage,' Starbucks said.

'We are deeply dedicated to embracing diversity and treating one another with respect and dignity, and remain committed to providing an inclusive, supportive, and safe work environment for all of our partners.'

Google did not release a separate statement, but it has a history of supporting LGBT rights, including highly public opposition to California's Prop 8, the initiative that reversed marriage equality in that state.

Noting 'the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees,' Google concluded that 'we should not eliminate anyone's fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.'

Google has also been very visible in Pride parades, with banner-carrying employees attending Pride events in major cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Dublin, and Jerusalem.

Both Starbucks and Google have earned 100% ratings on HRC's Corporate Equality Index.

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