Nordstrom execs come out in favor of gay marriage

Updated
A new report from DEMOS argues that raising wages for retail workers can actually help businesses, like Nordstrom and other department stores, grow.
A new report from DEMOS argues that raising wages for retail workers can actually help businesses, like Nordstrom and other department stores, grow.
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Blake, Pete and Erik Nordstrom—descendants of the founder of Nordstrom and top executives within the department store company—endorsed marriage equality in an email to all Nordstrom employees, Business Insider reported on Monday.

“It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as all other employees,” the Nordstrom brothers wrote in the email. “We also believe supporting freedom to marry will help us create a more attractive and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees.”

Nordstrom is only the latest corporation to take a position on marriage equality. In July of this year, Chick-fil-A president and CEO Dan T. Cathy said that his chain restaurant was supportive of “the biblical definition of the family unit,” and that tolerance of homosexuality was “inviting God’s judgment.” His remarks sparked a political maelstrom, and ultimately Chick-fil-A retreated from the debate and ceased donating to anti-marriage equality organizations.

In the fallout of the Chick-fil-A story, more and more corporations have been publicly identified as LGBT-friendly. The most prominent example is Starbucks, though the non-profit advocacy organization Equally Wed also identifies Amazon.com, Apple computers, Delta airlines, Microsoft, Google, JPMorgan, and numerous others as queer allies. This Sunday’s edition of the Seattle Times included a full-page ad in which top executives from many of those companies registered their support for a Washington state referendum which would legalize gay marriage.

Corporate activism goes beyond LGBT issues, though. In recent weeks, the top executives of numerous companies—including one owned by the Koch brothers—have attempted to pressure their employees into voting for Romney by suggesting that a second Obama term would put their livelihoods at risk.

Nordstrom execs come out in favor of gay marriage

Updated