Same-gender marriage now formally has the backing of much of corporate America.
An astounding 379 companies signed an amicus brief that was filed on Thursday urging the Supreme Court to “affirm a uniform principle that all couples share in the right to marry.”
The brief makes the business case for such a decision, saying, “Employees with partners of the same sex should be permitted to marry if they so choose, and then should be treated identically to their married heterosexual counterparts. State laws that require otherwise impose a significant burden on us and harm our ability to attract and retain the best employees. Such laws force businesses to uphold discriminatory laws that run counter to important corporate values. In the end, economic growth suffers.”
The 379 friends of the court include 25 DiversityInc Top 50 companies: EY (No. 3), PricewaterhouseCoopers (No. 5), Procter & Gamble (No. 7), Prudential Financial (No. 8), Johnson & Johnson (No. 9), AT&T (No. 10), Deloitte (No. 11), Accenture (No. 12), Cummins (No. 15), Marriott International (No. 16), Wells Fargo (No. 17), Cox Enterprises (parent company of Cox Communications, No. 18), Aetna (No. 19), General Mills (No. 20), KPMG (No. 21), Target (No. 22), New York Life (No. 25), Northrop Grumman (No. 28), Colgate-Palmolive (No. 30), The Walt Disney Company (No. 34), Wyndham Worldwide (No. 39), Verizon Communications (No. 43), Comcast (No. 44) and TD Bank (No. 45).
This includes six of the Top 10 and 17 of the Top 25.
Additionally, 11 members of DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies signed the amicus brief—AIG, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Capital One, CVS Health, DuPont, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hilton Worldwide, MassMutual Financial Services, Microsoft and Pfizer—as did Sempra Energy, No. 3 in the DiversityInc Top 5 Utilities.
Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia currently allow same-gender marriage, and the Supreme Court announced in January that it would rule on the matter this summer. Given the rapid gains in LGBT rights over the last few years, most observers expect SCOTUS to declare that same-gender-marriage bans are unconstitutional, paving the way for couples of any type to marry in any of the 50 states.
The 13 states that still have constitutional bans on same-gender marriage are: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.
Last summer, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act but opted not to hear an appeal on the legality of California’s Proposition 8 banning same-gender marriage.