Macy’s attacked for support of gay marriage

Jan 30, 2012, 3:45 PM | Updated: Jan 31, 2012, 1:28 pm

As more companies show their support for same-sex marriage, a few customers are pushing back.

Starbucks, Microsoft, Group Health Cooperative, Nike, Real Networks, and Vulcan all recently announced their support of gay marriage in Washington state.

“While some of our employees literally grew up around the corner, others have come from every state and almost 150 countries around the world. There simply is no substitute for their diverse backgrounds, perspectives, skills and experiences,” says Brad Smith, Microsoft’s VP for legal and corporate affairs.

Spokespeople for those companies tell me their support of marriage equality has been “well received.” But that’s not the case for Macy’s, a national department store chain.

A Macy’s catalogue was sent to homes with a subtle message supporting same-sex marriage.The wedding cake topper in the back of a stylish, classic automobile features two grooms. The close up version of the ad, though fuzzy, shows a same-sex couple on top of the cake.

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A group affiliated with the American Family Association has started an email campaign urging Macy’s to pull the image – which does not appear in the online version of the company’s catalogue.

“Just because gay marriage is legal in a few states does not mean this is appropriate marketing. As a conservative customer I will not support it,” they say. The group also calls Macy’s decision to support gay marriage “an irresponsible choice” that is “highly offensive and not family-friendly advertising.”

Macy’s has made no secret of its support of marriage equality. A 2008 advertisement in California stated, “First comes love. Then comes marriage. And now it’s a milestone every couple in California can celebrate.” That was before California voters repealed granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples with Proposition 8.

A House committee held a hearing on the marriage equality measure on Monday. The House Judiciary committee approved it on a 7-6 party line vote. The full Senate is expected to vote on their version of the bill Wednesday, with full house action to occur shortly thereafter. The bill would then head to Governor Chris Gregoire’s desk for her signature. She will sign it.

Opponents wishing to challenge the new law would have until early June to collect 120,557 valid signatures. That’s the amount required to place a referendum on the November 2012 ballot.

Related: Wording of Washington’s marriage equality bill

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Macy’s attacked for support of gay marriage