Gay-Marriage Ban Struck Down: Why Your Company Should Care

By Barbara Frankel


The California Appeals Court decision striking down Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage, is an important legal and moral victory for marriage-equality supporters, including several corporations.

The intersection of corporate values and business decisions has increased substantially in recent years at progressive companies. In California, companies that have fought against Proposition 8 in support of their LGBT employees and customers includeCisco.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision declaring Proposition 8 illegal is narrow in scope, only affecting California, and is going to be appealed to the Supreme Court. That gives the high court a chance to finally resolve this issue and remedy a serious inequity in the current societal structure. Proposition 8 was a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2008 after courts allowed same-sex marriage in that state.

Six states and the District of Columbia now have legalized same-sex marriage, most recently New York last summer. The other states are Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. As of February 8, legalization of same-sex marriage also is pending in Washington.

The Importance of Corporate Support

A number of corporations have actively joined the battle for LGBT equality, recognizing that to have inclusive workplaces, no group can be excluded.

Corporate support of LGBT rights has included the battle against the Defense of Marriage Act in Indiana, led by companies such as Eli Lilly, WellPoint and Cummins, Nos. 39, 36 and 18, respectively, in The 2011 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity. It has included advocacy for ENDA, the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, supported by corporations including DiversityInc Top 50 companies Kaiser Permanente (No. 1), Ernst & Young (No. 5), IBM (No. 7), Bank of America (No. 11), The Coca-Cola Company (No. 12), Merck & Co. (No. 15), Accenture (No. 23), KPMG (No. 29), Dell (No. 30),Time Warner (No. 28), Eli Lilly, WellPoint and Whirlpool (No. 49), as well as DiversityInc 25 Noteworthy Companies BASF, Boehringer Ingelheim, Capital One, Chubb, KeyCorp and Pfizer, and also companies such as Eastman Kodak Company, Ameriprise Financial and General Motors.

DiversityInc is also a strong supporter of LGBT rights. No company can earn a spot on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list if it does not offer same-sex domestic-partner benefits. This year, in light of the Human Rights Campaign’s revised Corporate Equality Index benefits, any company receiving less than an 80 percent rating on the index will be penalized in its DiversityInc Top 50 scoring. Companies that do not receive a 100 percent rating will be ineligible for The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees list.

For a discussion of the critical importance of values in corporate decision making, please read DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy: Decision Making, Clarity of Values & What to Do When It Goes Horribly Wrong.

What Everyone Said

Here are links to commentaries on the court ruling and its ramifications:

Federal Appeals Court Agrees: California’s Proposition 8 Is Unconstitutional

Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese comments on the ruling and its impact.

Prop. 8: Ruling to have limited effect outside California

L.A. Times’ blog discusses how the ruling will have limited effect outside California because it is based on voter repeal of a right a minority already enjoyed.

Prop. 8: California’s same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional

University of Pennsylvania Law School Professor Tobias Barrington Wolff says the unique circumstances giving rise to the ban’s passage could prompt the 9th Circuit panel to strike down Proposition 8 without addressing if banning gay marriage would be constitutional in the eight other states in its territory.

BREAKING: Proposition 8 ruled unconstitutional by 9th Circuit panel

Contains links for detailed historical info on Proposition 8 and some projections, plus the full ruling.

Prop 8 Ruling Will Be a Political Disaster for Romney and the GOP

U.S. News & World Report assesses the ruling’s impact on the Republican presidential race.

Ninth Circuit Decision Keeps the Focus onCalifornia

The legal director and the senior staff attorney for the National Center for Lesbian Rights analyze legal implications.

Anti-Gay Proposition 8 Once Again Ruled Unconstitutional

GLAAD Acting President Mike Thompson applauds the ruling and references research showing that the majority of Americans now support gay marriage.

Proposition 8: What Happens Next

A news site speculates the next steps in Proposition 8 appeals and if the case will make it to the Supreme Court.

Pledge Support for Marriage Equality

View the case timeline and sign a petition, which is viewable as a pop-up window, to protect the decision against Prop. 8 at the American Foundation for Equal Rights website.

Prop 8 Maps

Who supported Prop 8 in the first place Here is a mash-up in Google maps that gives a geographic visual of the original advocates.

Celebrities React to Prop 8’s Unconstitutional Ruling

A collection of comments from Hollywood starssuch as Modern Family cast members, Olivia Wilde, and moreshowing support for the ruling.

BREAKING: 9th Circuit Court Rules Prop 8 UNCONSTITUTIONAL

The NOH8 Campaign shares its excitement and discusses the other legal issues that surround Proposition 8 and the possibility of future appeals.

No on Proposition 8

“Like” this Facebook page to stay up to date on the continuing news surrounding the movement against Proposition 8.

Latest News

hiring

Companies Hiring Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Filings for unemployment insurance have risen to an unprecedented 2.3 million due to the COVID-19 crisis. Less than two weeks ago, that number was at 281,000 — which was already alarmingly close to the 299,000 previous record in 2017. Though unemployment rates have surged more than eight times the country’s…

EY COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan: Five Ways to Reshape

Originally posted on EY LinkedIn and  EY.com  EY Responding to COVID-19 COVID-19 is an unfolding event bringing uncertainty to every business. To help you navigate through these unprecedented times, here you’ll find the most relevant EY insights on responding to volatility and building enterprise resilience. Global companies have to be predictive…

What You Need to Know About How Johnson & Johnson’s Supply Chain Is Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic

The company’s Chief Global Supply Chain Officer shares the measures the company has taken to maintain its supply chain operations during the current novel coronavirus outbreak. Originally published on jnj.com. The effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic are undeniable. Kathy Wengel, Executive Vice President & Chief Global Supply Chain Officer,…

Humana Foundation Donates $500,000 in Support of Coronavirus Pandemic Relief and Recovery Efforts

Originally published on Humana.com – Partnership with Feeding America will support COVID-19 response funds addressing food and financial needs in communities across the U.S. – Collaborative effort in greater Louisville area will offer free COVID-19 screenings The Humana Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Humana Inc., announced today it will provide $500,000…

Marshall, NBA, CEO

Women’s History Month Profiles: Cynthia ‘Cynt’ Marshall, First Black Woman NBA CEO

Known best for: Becoming the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks — the first African American woman CEO in the NBA During Women’s History Month, DiversityInc is honoring a series of woman innovators and history makers who are often overlooked in mainstream media coverage and history books. Check back throughout March…

Novartis Announces Broad Range of Initiatives to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic and Creates $20 Million Global Fund to Support Impacted Communities

Originally published on novartis.com. Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund will provide grants of up to USD 1 million to support communities around the world most impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak Novartis to join collaborative R&D efforts with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard -supported COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator and…