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Major U.S. corporations call on Supreme Court to strike down gay marriage bans

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More than 60 U.S. corporations — including Apple, eBay, Facebook, Intel, Nike and Morgan Stanley — have signed on to an amicus brief in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court challenge to Proposition 8, California’s voter approved ban on same-sex marriage.

According to a draft copy obtained by Fortune, the companies argue that laws banning same-sex marriage “send an unmistakeable signal that same-sex couples are in some way inferior to opposite-sex couples, a proposition that is anathema to amici’s commitment to equality and fair treatment to all.”

The brief argues that marriage equality for same-sex couples “is more than a constitutional issue,” it is also “a business imperative.”

“By singling out a group for less favorable treatment, Proposition 8 impedes businesses from achieving the market’s ideal of efficient operations—particularly in recruiting, hiring, and retaining talented people who are in the best position to operate at their highest capacity. Amici are competing domestically and internationally with companies inside and outside the United States in places where all couples, regardless of whether they are of the same sex, are afforded equal access to marriage.”

The brief asserts that Proposition 8 harms California business in that potential recruits or employees who are members of a same-sex couple “may forgo the opportunity to work in California, and prefer other states (like Iowa, New York and Massachusetts) or other nations where they can be married and obtain equal treatment and respect under the law.”

The draft brief also argues that legaling same-sex marriage would positively impact local economies through travel, tourism and wedding planning services and venues.

Joshua Rosenkranz, who is counsel of record on the brief and head of the Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, said that the number of companies sigining onto the brief is expected to rise by Thursday, the deadline set by the court to receive briefs in the case.

Others who have already committed to sign include AIG, Cisco, Levi Strauss, McGraw Hill, NCR, Office Depot, Oracle, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Xerox.

Earlier Tuesday, more than 75 prominent Republican leaders signed a similar amicus brief calling on the Supreme Court to strike down Proposition 8.

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19 more reader comments:

  1. Itʻs about time!! :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 5:45pm
  2. Good call Facebook, Apple et al.!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 5:53pm
  3. Amazing! Progress! So glad companies finally realized we have $ and are willing to spend it with companies who support us. =

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:01pm
  4. Goo apple

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:05pm
  5. I have to share this experience me and my mother had today. There was a blood drive at the mall today. So, me and my mother decided to donate. Mind you we live in VA. Well I went first and filled out all the paper work, got tested for the usual iron level and answered all the questions. Turns out that since I have had sexual relations with a male…….I cannot give blood in VA. Mind everyone, I get tested regularly and am in good health. So because of my lifestyle and the way God has made me…….I cannot give blood in VA. This is wrong. This is hatred and ignorance.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:08pm
  6. You are an ICON and so loved…..many many hours of happiness and its all because of you

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:09pm
  7. Awesome! Every little bit helps to sway the Supreme Court to overturn all bans on same-sex marriage.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:21pm
  8. I’m sorry to hear that, Justin. Unfortunately, I believe that ban on donating blood is nationwide, not just VA… they wouldn’t let you here in MA either. If I’m not mistaken, I believe Obama had called for an end to that as well. As for Apple, yet another reason I’m glad to own Apple products.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 6:58pm
  9. @ Justin…same thing in Québec !…it’s very sad !

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:07pm
  10. Same in Tn.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:12pm
  11. Well, hurrah! Sanity begins to prevail. . .

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:14pm
  12. Way to go. This is the way the country moves forward. Everyone gets involved. Glad to see this.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 7:26pm
  13. Justin G. I hope u keep telling your story and spreading knowledge on such a fear based laws. Putting a human face to ignorant laws such as these helps I think.
    And good on companies like these for getting involved!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 8:13pm
  14. Wow…truly amazing..and to think…when I first came out, it was taboo just to mention gays in the media. We’ve come a long way

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 8:31pm
  15. Unfortunately we cannot donate blood in Australia either.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 8:42pm
  16. Lets get this done SCOTUS

    Posted on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 9:49pm
  17. @ Justin….More homophobes NEED a gay blood transfusion! maybe it will “straighten” them out !!! (pun intended) …. I bet if they were dying and yours was the only blood available, they would be begging you for it. I too have been refused, to bad this ignorance continues. As for corporate support of gay rights….yes that’s who i spend my money with. Praise and thanks to them.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 6:52am
  18. @Justin I don’t understand either b/c isn’t ALL blood tested before it is given?

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 7:06am
  19. Wow, I am REALLY glad to hear this. Now that the corporations are backing it up, things will probably start changing at rapid paces. =D Have you all seen the Kindle ad with the gay couple?!
    @Justin: I am so sad to hear this story. I’m sorry, and please keep sharing your story.

    Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 8:06am