Microsoft Releases Statement in Support of Washington State’s Same-Sex Marriage Bills

Posted by at 7:26 am on January 20, 2012

Microsoft on Thursday released a statement endorsing Washington state legislation that would clear same-sex marriage. The Windows developer was joining a handful of other companies in the state, including Nike and RealNetworks, in saying Senate Bill 6239 and HB 2516 would be positive for the state as a whole. General Counsel Brad Smith argued that Microsoft needed a “workforce that is as diverse as our customers” and that the company would be at a disadvantage if it excluded same-sex couples that wanted to marry.

Smith insisted the company respected those who disagreed and stressed that it wasn’t going to ask employees to change their minds. Microsoft did, however, want to make sure that same-sex couples didn’t feel ostracized. “It’s important to go beyond simply forbidding discrimination,” Smith said.

Microsoft has a history of supporting such policies, dating back to 1993 when it became the first company in the Fortune 500 to give benefits to same sex couples.

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