A total of 379 companies, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Google, have joined together to urge the Supreme Court to rule in favor of blanketed nationwide support for marriage equality (via The Verge).
The companies filed an amicus brief yesterday, represented by law firm Morgan Lewis, in the on-going Obergefell v. Hodges case, wherein two men are arguing that the state of Ohio discriminates against legal out-of-state same-sex marriages. Apple, along with the 378 other companies, angled towards a business-focused case for supporting every couple's right to marry.
The brief claims that due to "a fractured legal landscape with no uniform rule on same-sex marriage", both employees and employers face increasingly burden-filled relationships, making it difficult to conduct proper business practices. The coterie of companies isn't represented by just well-known tech companies, but small family-owned businesses and other big non-tech brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and United Airlines, as well.
“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,” says Morgan Lewis Partner Susan Baker Manning, 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.”
Obergefell v. Hodges will enter the Supreme Court in April, and is one of a few others it will hear regarding the marriage equality issue. The main issue expected to be covered is whether the Constitution protects all same-sex couples in their right to marry regardless of their state, or if individual states will retain the right to prohibit gay marriage.
Apple has, unsurprisingly, voiced support for same-sex marriage in the past and marched in pride parades in San Francisco, with CEO Tim Cook coming out as gay in a letter written to Bloomberg Businessweek just last October. Most recently, last December the company voiced support in naming a proposed bill in Alabama after the Apple CEO that would focus on anti-discrimination in regards to sexual orientation in the work place. Currently, there are 36 states, and Washington, D.C., that support gay marriage.
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