Leading U.S. Companies to Supreme Court: End Marriage Discrimination

by Charles Joughin

In groundbreaking amicus briefs in Prop 8 and DOMA cases, more than 300 companies and employers ranging from Apple, Morgan Stanley, Starbucks, and Pfizer stand up for equality under the law.

WASHINGTON – More than 300 leading American companies and employers have joined “friend of the court” briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in either one or both landmark marriage equality cases.

One brief—to be filed in the challenge to California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry—is signed by companies including Apple, Facebook, Xerox, Verizon, Cisco and Levi Strauss.

The document argues that the right to marriage equality is, “more than a constitutional issue. It is a business imperative,” and that laws like Proposition 8 are unacceptable to the companies’ commitment to “equality and fair treatment to all."

In the second brief—filed in the case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. United States—companies including Google, Starbucks, Amazon, and Citigroup have declared that DOMA forces companies to discriminate against their own employees, running contrary to the firms’ own corporate policies and values.

HRC president Chad Griffin issued the following statement with regard to the briefs:

“These companies have embraced the simple fact that standing up for equality isn’t just good for business, it’s the right thing to do. For years, many on this list have been trailblazing leaders for equality. Today hundreds of most prominent and respected American companies have taken historic stand for ending marriage discrimination before the highest court in the land."

The brief comes on the heels of yesterday’s announcement that more than 100 prominent Republicans will file a brief in Perry in strong support of marriage equality. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the two cases on March 26 and March 27.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.


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