Some of the largest employers in the Pacific Northwest, including Nike, Microsoft, and Boeing, announced their support for the Approve Referendum 71 campaign in Washington on Monday. The campaign urges voters to uphold expanded domestic partnerships for same-sex couples in a November referendum.
The new expanded domestic-partnerships law passed the legislature last spring, but opponents collected enough signatures over the summer to place the measure on the ballot.
The large corporations want the new law to be retained, according to The Seattle Times.
"In a joint statement, the Boeing Co., Nike, Microsoft Corp., Puget Sound Energy, RealNetworks, and Vulcan Inc. said the law does not 'sanction or encourage same-sex marriage ... but recognizes that, regardless of their sexual orientation, people may enter into partnerships and create family units that deserve respect and equal treatment.
"We embrace everyone's fundamental right to be judged on their merits and contributions rather than factors such as their sexual orientation," the statement said.