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Microsoft calls for same-sex marriage in Washington State

Gay Marriage
Gay Marriage iStockphoto

(CBS) - Microsoft announced today that it supports legislation in Washington State that would legalize same-sex marriage.

Five other companies stand with Microsoft in backing Senate Bill 6239 and House Bill 2516 - Concur, Group Health, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan Inc.

Full coverage of Microsoft at Tech Talk

Microsoft wrote a short letter to Governor Chris Gregoire in support of both bills.

"We write you today to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples."

If enacted, the bills will change the language in the current laws to become gender-neural.

"As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington's employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families," said Brad Smith, Microsoft executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs. "Employers in the technology sector face an unprecedented national and global competition for top talent."

New York is the most recent - and largest - state to join the club. According to CNN, "some estimate nearly $400 million in revenues for the state over the next three years."

"Like the New York bill, we believe Washington's legislation should be passed into law. It will make our state and our economy stronger," Smith said.

There are currently six U.S. states that have legalized gay marriage - Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

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