Small businesses in Washington stand up for the freedom to marry

This week, Washington United for Marriage, the broad coalition working to uphold the freedom to marry at the ballot in Washington state by approving Referendum 74, announced that 327 small businesses from across the state are standing up in support of marriage for same-sex couples.

The campaign also launched its new Small Business Captain program, which will engage dozens of small businesses to work toward a big victory for the Washington campaign. From restaurants to shoe stores to design firms to auto repair shops, small businesses from all across the state are speaking up about why loving and committed same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry.

Washington United's campaign manager, Zach Silk, described the push for small business' support in a release from earlier this week. He said: 

Small business people are really local entrepreneurs who are deeply connected to their communities. They understand that supporting the freedom to marry and Referendum 74 is good for both their employees and their customers. We are so pleased to see so many of these self-starters join us and spread the word. The support of these community leaders is invaluable in our effort to defend our marriage law. 

The coalition also released a video alongside the announcement featuring Charlie Olson, the owner of Blue Moon Burgers in Seattle. Olson says:

I would invite other business owners to support Referendum 74 for the same reason we do: It improves the community we live in. You improve your business - it's a synergistic relationship. I support the approval of Referendum 74 because it's the right thing to do.

Supporting the freedom to marry isn't just the right thing for same-sex couples to do. It's also the smart thing to do. Cities and states derive strength from their diversity - and an integral part of that diversity are gay and lesbian families. When we celebrate diversity, our communities thrive; these are the places where today's entrepreneurs are most likely to choose to build tomorrow's most exciting businesses. A welcoming, accepting environment creates stronger communities and better potential for a positive business climate.

Watch the video of Charlie Olson below, and check out Washington United for Marriage to learn more about why marriage matters to small businesses.