REI endorses same-sex marriage in Washington state

Seattle Times

by Lornet Turnbull

On an internal company blog post, REI’s CEO and President Sally Jewell said the company has endorsed same-sex marriage in Washington state.

“REI is taking a position in support of marriage equality — an issue that is important to the co-op as an inclusive organization and a welcoming place to work and do business,” Jewell wrote.

“The Board, Leadership Forum and I are committed to ensuring that we continue to create an environment where people can be themselves and feel welcome at REI, including respecting religious and political diversity,” she wrote.

“I want to ensure that our colleagues and customers who have beliefs that run counter to the position the co-op is taking on this issue feel respected in their right to disagree. My own journey in understanding and coming to this position on marriage equality has been shaped by thoughtful, heartfelt discussions with people who have held a variety of differing perspectives.  I encourage you to engage each other in a discussion, practicing our core value of respect—“we listen to and learn from each other.”

REI joins a growing list of Pacific Northwest-based employers including Nike, Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft and the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce that have taken sides on this contentious issue.

Through Referendum 74, voters in November will decide whether to approve or reject same-sex marriage in the state.