Expedia supports the freedom to marry in Washington
September 04, 2012
Today, travel company Expedia announced their support for the freedom to marry by officially endorsing Washington United for Marriage, the coalition of pro-marriage organizations working to uphold the freedom to marry by approving Referendum 74 at the ballot on November 6.
The company's President and CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, announced Expedia's official endorsement of Referendum 74 in a release:
As the world's largest online travel company - with operations in well over 30 countries - we know firsthand that the world is a diverse place. Much like our customers, clients, partners, and suppliers, our employees represent a multitude of locations, cultures, and experiences. We encourage Expedians to bring their collective intelligence and myriad skills to work every day to make travel more accessible for our customers. As such, we are committed to creating a workplace environment in which everyone thrives. ...
Today, we add our voice to the topic of marriage equality. We thoughtfully engage in this public discussion because it has a significant impact on our employees, customers, and partners, all with whom we interact daily. Supporting the legislation recently passed in Washington State - which provides same-sex couples with the same right to civil marriage that opposite-sex couples already enjoy - is a natural extension of our ongoing commitment to the LGBT community.
We are so pleased to add Expedia to our ever-expanding list of Washington-based corporate supporters. Like other corporate leaders, Dara Khosrowshahi understands that treating all families fairly and allowing all loving couples the freedom to marry is a core value that builds strong communities and strong businesses. When most people think travel, they think Expedia and we couldn't be more excited to have them join our effort to Approve Referendum 74.
Expedia is now the latest of dozens of businesses who have spoken out in support of or offered financial contributions to help uphold the freedom to marry in the state. Two weeks ago, telecommunications company T-Mobile endorsed Referendum 74, and this summer, the law has seen huge financial backing from Amazon's Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates and Steven A. Balmer. Longtime coalition partners for Washington United for Marriage also include Starbucks, Boeing, REI, and Nike.
Small businesses have also devoted considerable time, energy and funding to Washington United for Marriage. Nearly 100 businesses across the state have signed on as coalition partners for WUM, including locally owned bakeries and restaurants, law firms, and the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce. Washington United will continue to expand its outreach to small businesses, an effort it showcased earlier last month with its Small Business Captain program.
These companies realize that standing up for the freedom to marry is the right thing to do to support their employees. It's smart business for businesses to speak up for marriage - and it also promotes a welcoming, accepting environment, encourages stronger communities, and represents positive company ethics. It is important to celebrate when corporations and businesses recognize the harm that laws have on their communities and subsequently take action in hopes of correcting those laws.
Freedom to Marry applauds businesses that have taken steps to advocate for their gay and lesbian employees and make the case for the freedom to marry in a sphere that generally takes a "hands-off" approach to social government policies. We are energized by so many different groups of people from across the country taking the time to consider the importance of the freedom to marry and speaking out after realizing how essential marriage is to same-sex couples.