Bans on same-sex marriage are bad for business.
That’s the message of a new amicus brief filed in the US Supreme Court. The brief is signed by many major tech companies – as well as companies from industries all across the spectrum. It includes 379 supporters in all.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in multiple cases involving same-sex marriage in April, and are expected to make a final ruling by June. The main question that the justices will consider this time around is whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, or if certain states can continue to ban it (and the recognition of it) inside their borders. This specific brief was filed on behalf of the Obergefell v. Hodges case.
“Some of the states in which amici do business make marriage equally available to all of our employees and colleagues; others prohibit marriages between couples of the same sex and refuse to recognize existing same-sex marriages. This dual regime burdens amici,” reads the brief.
“It creates legal uncertainty and imposes unnecessary costs and administrative complexities on employers, and requires differential employer treatment of employees who are similarly situated save for the state where they reside … State laws that prohibit or decline to recognize marriages between same-sex couples hamper employer efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible in those states. Our successes depend upon the welfare and morale of all employees, without distinction. The burden imposed by inconsistent and discriminatory state laws of having to administer complicated schemes to account for differential treatment of similarly situated employees breeds unnecessary confusion, tension, and diminished employee morale.”
Basically, equality breeds better business.
Companies signing on include Amazon, American Express, Apple, AT&T, Barnes & Noble, CBS, Cisco, Comcast, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, Google, Groupon, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Pandora, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, Visa, Disney, Xerox, Zynga, and many, many more.
“The competition for top talent crosses state and even national borders. State laws that prohibit same-sex marriage make it harder for businesses to recruit and retain talented employees,” said Susan Baker Manning of Morgan Lewis, counsel of record on the brief. “The patchwork of inconsistent state marriage laws makes it challenging and more costly for employers to administer benefits systems when some employees are unable to marry, and other employees’ marriages are not recognized by the state. This burdens businesses by costing them both time and money.”
In 2013, when the Supreme Court was looking at the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, most of these same companies filed a brief asking the court to support gay marriage.
Image via Facebook Diversity