Apple, Disney, Facebook, Twitter, & Hundreds More Urge the Supreme Court to Uphold Marriage Equality
Today in good news.
The Supreme Court of the United States will soon hear a case on whether or not state-by-state anti-marriage equality laws are constitutional, which is likely to clear the way for nationwide legal acceptance that we should all be able to marry the person we choose. Now, a group of 379 companies, from tech and entertainment giants to other massive corporations, has written to the court to voice their support and lay out some hard, logistical reasons other than, “It’s the right thing to do.”
So who’s on the list? Everybody, basically—including the big four tech companies with Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Seriously, the list also has big names like Amazon, AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Cisco, Coca-Cola, DIRECTV, Disney, Dropbox, EA, eBay, General Mills, and Groupon, and as you can see, I’m only on G, and there are tons of big ones I skipped—not to mention that a lot of these companies have subsidiaries that are also massive businesses.
These companies collectively put together an “amici curae” or “friend of the court” document to explain just how it would benefit the world’s biggest businesses for everybody to have the same rights and to urge the court to make sure that we all do in the future. Here’s the summary of their argument, though you can see the full text for yourself for greater detail and the full list of companies involved (emphasis ours):
More than seventy percent of Americans live in a state that celebrates and recognizes same-sex marriages. But many states continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, and decline to recognize the valid, existing marriages of citizens married to a spouse of the same sex. This fractured legal landscape harms employers and employees alike.
Over the past several years, federal and state courts have evaluated the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans to varying effect. Amici [the businesses collectively] already operate against a complicated, uncertain, and frequently changing backdrop of laws and employment-related regulations that increase our administrative costs. Inconsistent state marriage laws impose an added economic burden on American businesses at an estimated cost of over one billion dollars per year.
Discriminatory state laws force amici to implement inconsistent policies across the various jurisdictions in which we operate, our stated corporate principles of diversity and inclusion notwithstanding. Our ability to grow and maintain our businesses by attracting and retaining the best employee talent is hindered. The patchwork of state laws applicable to same-sex marriage thus impairs our business interests and employer/employee relations. If the Court were to affirm the decision below, the costs and uncertainty imposed by inconsistent state marriage laws will only continue. In contrast, reversal will reduce current costs, administrative burden, and diversion of resources from our core businesses.
We therefore respectfully urge the Court to reverse the decision below and affirm a uniform principle that all couples share in the right to marry.
That’s a pretty solid and compelling argument for the court to rule in favor of equal rights coming from some fairly loud voices. The court’s decision is already fairly likely to go in favor of marriage equality, but every little—or fairly large—bit helps. I’ll leave you with one other great quote from the expanded amici argument:
A. Our Businesses Benefit From Diversity and Inclusion.
“Today, diversity and inclusion… are a given.” They are among the core principles of amici in the conduct of their businesses. The value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace has been well documented following rigorous analyses. Amici and others recognize that diversity is crucial to innovation and marketplace success.
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