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September 14, 2009 at 1:26 PM

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Large employers back retaining domestic partnership benefits

Posted by Richard Wagoner

This post comes from staff writer Lornet Turnbull.

Some of the Northwest's largest employers today announced support for the Approve Referendum 71 campaign, which seeks to uphold state law extending marriage-like benefits to gay, lesbian and some senior couples.

Referendum 71 would ask voters to approve or reject the law. A consortium of religious conservatives collected signatures to get the issue on the November ballot with the hopes of repealing it.

In a joint statement, The Boeing Company, Nike, Microsoft Corp., Puget Sound Energy, RealNetworks and Vulcan Development 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.

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