Recreational Equipment Inc Supports Marriage Equality


Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) has thrown its support behind marriage equality in Washington state’s upcoming Referendum 74 vote.

REI President Sally Jewell said in a statement released this week that “REI is taking a position in support of marriage equality – an issue that is important to the co-op as an inclusive organization and a welcoming place to work and do business.”

REI, founded in Seattle and today with 110 stores in about 30 states, is one of several companies, including, to put its support behind Washington’s newly minted marriage equality law.

However, Jewell went on to outline the company’s support in quite personal terms, saying: “Why is this important to the co-op? Let me begin my answer with a personal perspective. A few weeks ago, my husband Warren and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary. We’ve been on a journey through life together since our first date on my 18th birthday, raising our two children, changing jobs, moving to various places, and witnessing the challenges and joys of our relationship and those of our parents, three of them through end-of-life.”

She added, ”For heterosexual couples, it is very easy to take for granted the legal and societal benefits of marriage — health care benefits, retirement benefits, insurance, death benefits, healthcare decisions, child-rearing and custody, and many more, not to mention the meaning of the commitment of marriage that was so vivid to us as we introduced each other as husband or wife for the first time. As executrix of my mother’s estate, the legal benefits of marriage in estate and health issues became even clearer to me over the past year. Marriage equality is important to the co-op because the benefits, legal clarity and societal understanding that Warren and I have enjoyed these past 34 years should be available to any two people who want to express their love and make a permanent commitment to each other that is so clearly provided for in the legal definition of marriage.”

The November referendum will ask voters whether they wish to “approve” or “reject” the state’s new marriage equality law that was signed by Governor Gregoire in February. While in America no same-sex marriage law has survived a ballot vote, polling data suggest that there is reason to be hopeful, especially because Washington previously approved an “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law at the ballot, which was also a marked first.


Related Reading:

Lawsuit Over Washington’s ‘Prejudiced’ Marriage Referendum Title

Gov. Gregoire Signs Washington Marriage Equality Bill

Microsoft Supports Marriage Equality in Washington

WA Lawyer Moves to Repeal Gay Marriage (Before It’s Even Been Legalized)

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Mo_Mack.


Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

Every little bit helps.

Julie D.
Julie D5 years ago

Thumbs up to this company!

Nancy Hatcher
Nancy Hatcher5 years ago

One more step toward recognising love in all it's glorious forms!

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle5 years ago

This is good but it should be immaterial. I really want to see the majority of people from around the world support equality but it must be of the courts. The courts have to uphold the Constitutions and rule for equality. Constitutional ammendments stating that a minority of the population have the same rights as the rest of us should be a redundancy. Therefore not needed.
Good for you REI. And company that comes out in support of equality and stands against bigotry will definitely get my business before their competitors.

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

It always makes a heart feel good when a company makes a stand for equality. Way to go!!!!

Fred Krohn
Fred Krohn5 years ago

Behind all the foofraw is the fact that LGBTQs spend money for company goods and are worth cultivating as customers. Capitalism is the least obnoxious economy!

Vincenzo Correale

Danielle, we take marriage so much for granted that the divorce rates are higher and higher every day. Essentially the problem is a society that has developed a lack of commitment.

Danielle K.
Danielle K5 years ago

What a beautiful statement from Ms. Jewell. I appreciate that she points out the legal and societal benefits of marriage and points out how straight people do take it for granted.

Guillermo Ramon
Guillermo Ramon5 years ago

Living in Miami, FL, I have never visited a REI store. As a straight man, I have no vested interest in gay marriage. After having said that, HURRAY for REI and all the other companies that openly endorse gay marriage. Endorsing gay marriage is supporting equality and freedom above one's personal beliefs or life style preferences. True patriotism is to place the interest of your nation above your personal interest. Our nation is a place for equality. Anti-American forces keep moving every resource they have against us (we the people). They use Christianity and Tea as their anti-American agenda. I am glad there are some corporations showing support for “we the people.”

John Mansky
John Mansky5 years ago

Thank you for the article...