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Nordstrom Weighs in on Gay Marriage

The Seattle-based department store chain is officially supporting the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry.

NORDSTROM WEIGHS IN: It’s rare for retailers to take a stand on politics or social issues, yet Nordstrom Inc. is officially supporting the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Blake Nordstrom, president of Nordstrom Inc., said in an e-mail to employees that he and his brothers Pete, president of merchandising, and Erik, president of stores, believe that their gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law to other employees. Nordstrom also said that he believes supporting gay rights will help make the store a more attractive place to work, draw additional talent and possibly bring in new customers, though it also could alienate some consumers who oppose gay and lesbian marriage.

The Seattle-based Nordstrom has a history of supporting gay and lesbian employees with its antidiscrimination policies and by extending benefits to life partners.