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The businesses who supported gay marriage

Nancy Marshall-Genzer and Chau Tu Jun 26, 2013
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UPDATE: How some companies around the web are continuing to show their support of same-sex marriage:

  • Facebook rolled out a new emoji for status updates — a rainbow icon meant for ‘feeling pride.’ (Screenshot: Mashable)

  • Instagram featured a photoset of Instagrams tagged with #DOMA, #SCOTUS and #Prop8 on its blog.
  • Google’s search bar got a rainbow upgrade whenever the search terms “gay,” “lesbian,” “bisexual” or “transgender” was typed in. (Screenshot: All Things D)

Have you seen any other examples of same-sex marriage support by companies online? Let us know by tweeting us @MarketplaceAPM.


Marriott signed friend-of-the-court petitions in the two same-sex marriage cases the Supreme Court decided.

Joanna Todd is in charge of Marriott’s marketing strategy toward the gay community. She says Marriott’s message is simple:  “That you, when you check in with your spouse or partner, that you’re going to be put in a great room and will have a great experience and no one will judge you.”

Bob Witeck of Witeck Communications advises Marriott and other companies, on marketing to gay customers. Who may be a bit more free spending, because they’re less likely to have kids.

Witeck says for the companies, “They see an opportunity, and they’ve seen it for years coming, that gay people exist, they shop the same as everybody else. But now they have a chance to actually talk to them.”

Witeck points to a recent ad for Amazon’s Kindle. A man and woman relax on the beach. You think they’re a couple, until you hear the tagline. The woman says, “My husband’s bringing me a drink.” And the man says, “So’s mine.”

But companies don’t just want to appeal to gay consumers. They also want to attract top talent, regardless of sexual orientation. People who may get several offers. Gary Gates studies gay, bisexual and transgender legal issues at UCLA.

He says, “There’s no question that that person will look at whether the company is going to be supportive of them both through their benefits and through the corporate culture.”

Putting companies that do things like provide same-sex benefits way out ahead.

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