An impending vote on marriage equity legislation in its home state of Washington has prompted technology giant Microsoft to endorse same-sex marriage as ‘good for business and good for the state’s economy’.
Brad Smith, general counsel & executive vice president, legal & corporate affairs for Microsoft, says in a post on the company blog that for a company to be successful, its workforce must be as diverse as its customers.
"The lifeblood of a business is its ability to understand and connect with its customers,” Smith says.
That’s why Microsoft started offering same-sex domestic partnership benefits back in 1993 – the first Fortune 500 company to do so, according to Smith.
"For almost two decades, we’ve benefited from this support and the resulting contributions of our LGBT employees,” Smith says.
"Our support today for... Washington’s marriage equality legislation builds upon our previous work in this area.”
Attracting top talent is another benefit, Smith says.
"Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognise 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.”
The vote on the bills, Senate Bill 6239 and House Bill 2516, takes place today.
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