Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Company, also known as P&G, on Tuesday publicly endorsed allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

“We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized,” Deborah P. Majoras, P&G's chief legal officer, is quoted as saying by the Cincinnati Inquirer.

“For our company, it's not a political statement, but a statement of support for our employees,” said William Gipson, P&G's chief global diversity officer.

P&G has supported the city's annual Gay Pride parade since 2011 and it has offered health benefits to the domestic partners of gay employees since 2001.

Last year, the consumer products giant endorsed passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which seeks to prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

P&G's announcement comes less than two weeks after the Cincinnati-based Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld bans on gay marriage in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.