Many major American corporations are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the federal law defining marriage as something for heterosexual couples only. A total of more than 200 businesses—including Microsoft, Google, Starbucks, Pfizer, Reuters Corp. and Amazon.com—say the policy forces them to discriminate against same-sex employees when it comes to things like healthcare benefits.
It’s awesome to see that U.S. businesses don’t want to treat gay and lesbian employees differently than straight ones—and of course it also makes good business sense. Companies based in states that don’t recognize same-sex marriage now find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and keeping talented individuals who happen not have a partner of the same sex.
The lack of nationwide uniformity on marriage laws—currently 12 states authorize same-sex marriage or at least recognize those authorized in other states—creates a burden for employers, the companies’ lawyers say in a brief filed Wednesday with the Supreme Court.
The Court is slated to hear a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) later this month. In their brief, the companies complain that DOMA ”requires that employers treat one employee differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is equally lawful.”