A large fashion retailer based in the US state of Washington, has joined other large employers in publicly voicing their support for equal marriage, which will be voted on by Washington residents next month.

In an email circulated to employees, Seattle based, Nordstrom, a fashion department store, has announced that it will back the referendum on equal marriage in the state of Washington, to take place on November 6, the Huffington Post reports.

Washington United for Marriage published the full email expressing support for the marriage equality referendum, or R74 as it is officially known, which read:

“With respect to our gay and lesbian employees, Nordstrom was an early adopter of adding sexual orientation to our anti-discrimination policy, which means we guarantee the same legal rights and protections in our workplace to gay and lesbian employees just as we do for other employees regardless of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, marital status, pregnancy, physical, mental or sensory disability, and gender identity.”

The email continued, saying that the company’s support of equal marriage: “is consistent with our long-time philosophy of inclusivity and equality for our customers and employees,” it continued:

“We feel the next step in this journey is to now support freedom to marry, also called marriage equality. There is a lot of awareness of this issue across the country and we’ve heard from many employees and customers. We gave this thoughtful consideration and felt the time was right to come out in support of this civil rights issue.

“It is our belief that our gay and lesbian employees are entitled to the same rights and protections marriage provides under the law as our other employees. We also believe supporting freedom to marry will help us create a more attractive and inclusive workplace for our current and prospective employees.”

Nordstrom, established in 1901 as a shoe shop, joins Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon and Nike, as well as other Washington-based employers, which have publicly voiced their support for equal marriage.

Earlier this month, online travel company Expedia, launched a new promotional video in which an elderly father travels across the US to attend his lesbian daughter’s wedding.

Other support for the referendum in Washingon was found with 63 ex-Catholic priests in the state, who are due to announce their support for Referendum 74, this week.

As well as in Washington, Maine and Maryland will also be voting on marriage equality on November 6. At the same time, Minnesota voters will choose whether to make a constitutional amendment which would define marriage as only between one man and one woman.