Saturday, June 25, 2005

Gay pride parade is brought to you by ...

Microsoft, Starbucks, Wamu among local corporate supporters

"If Microsoft Corp. was skittish about supporting gay rights legislation in Olympia, it doesn't seem to have reservations about being a sponsor in tomorrow's gay pride parade in Seattle.
More than 100 Microsoft employees, including members of the Gay and Lesbian Employees at Microsoft, are expected to march in the parade. The Redmond software company also will have a booth in Volunteer Park as part of the festivities.
And Microsoft isn't alone.
Despite boycott threats from anti-gay groups and the perception of a gay marriage backlash from the American public, corporate sponsorship of gay pride festivities held around the country this month remains strong, according to event organizers nationwide and advertising agencies that specialize in reaching gay and lesbian consumers.
From Anheuser-Busch to Bank of America, Avis-Rent-a-Car to Aetna Insurance, mainstream businesses that might have once thought twice about flying their logos alongside the rainbow flag are actively courting a market they consider beneficial, if not essential, to their bottom lines.
For many Seattle businesses, participation in the local pride parade is about acknowledging the city's residents and their customers."



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