It's still too soon to tell if Washington will become the seventh U.S. state to approve marriage equality, but having the support of the world's largest coffeehouse chain is certainly a good sign.
As numerous media outlets including Towleroad and Queerty are reporting, Starbucks has joined a growing list of major corporations to publicly endorse same-sex marriage legislation in the state. The Seattle Times has published a statement from Kalen Holmes, Executive Vice President of the Seattle-based coffee megabrand, which reads in part:
Starbucks is 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. It is core to who we are and what we value as a company.
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.
We look forward to seeing this legislation enacted into law.
The company now joins other Pacific Northwest conglomerates like Group Health, Nike and Microsoft in their support of same-sex marriage. A Jan. 19 statement on The Official Microsoft Blog titled "Marriage Equality in Washington State Would Be Good for Business" reads in part:
Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples - Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.
According to the Associated Press, the bills had their first public hearings on Jan. 23.