Ad in ‘The Washington Post’ showcases broad business support for the freedom to marry
March 11, 2015
Today, March 11, 2015, Freedom to Marry published a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post featuring the names of 379 businesses who signed onto an amicus brief last week urging the United States Supreme Court to rule in favor of the freedom to marry this summer.
40 of the businesses are counted among the roster of Fortune 100 companies in the United States. About half of the signers have never before signed onto a brief in support of the freedom to marry.
The brief that the businesses signed onto explains how the patchwork of marriage laws across the country cause businesses to face administrative confusion and stress when trying to provide for their employees, many of whom are in same-sex relationships:
As employers, amici know firsthand that this fractured legal landscape hampers economic growth and impedes innovation by forcing businesses to work harder, and invest more, to achieve the same return on our investments. Inconsistent marriage laws force companies to divert significant time and money to the creation and maintenance of complex administrative systems needed to differentiate treatment of otherwise indistinguishable employees based on the different marriage laws of the places where they live. These differences can create rifts in the employer employee relationship. Employers are better served by a uniform marriage rule that gives equal dignity to employee relationships. Allowing same-sex couples to marry improves employee morale and productivity, reduces uncertainty, and removes the wasteful administrative burdens imposed by the current disparity of state law treatment.
The signers, many of whom have never previously signed onto a brief, include Aetna, Amazon.com, American Airlines, American Express, Apple, AT&T, Capital One, Cardinal Health, Cigna, Cisco, Citigroup, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health, Delta Air Lines, EBay, Edelman, Facebook, General Electric, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Google, Hilton, HSBC, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Levi Strauss, Marriott, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Morgan Stanley, the New England Patriots, New York Life, Nike, Office Depot, Orbitz, Pandora, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, the San Francisco Giants, Staples, the Tampa Bay Rays, Target, TD Bank, Twitter, UBS, United Airlines, Verizon, Walt Disney, and Wells Fargo.
Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, said today:
Marriage discrimination not only harms America’s families, but America’s businesses, imposing an unwieldy, expensive, and unnecessary burden on companies, employees, and the economy. Smart employers know that respecting same-sex couples’ freedom to marry is good for business, good for employees, and good for America. Freedom to Marry is proud of our part in securing business signatories on this friend-of-the-court brief, and of our ongoing role in getting businesses on the right side of history. We commend the nearly 400 American businesses who have joined us in declaring that it’s time for the Supreme Court to finish the job and affirm the freedom to marry nationwide.
The businesses that signed on the the brief include 40 Fortune 100 companies from states that do and do not have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, and some companies that work in states that have differing laws on the freedom to marry.
Earlier this year, a report examined the large economic burden that the inconsistent marriage laws across the country caused -- revealing that it cost the private sector $1.3 billion every year. Read more about that report here.
This brief was submitted after the United States Supreme Court announced that it would hear oral arguments in the marriage cases from four states on April 28, in one consolidated two and a half hour hearing. On January 16, the United States Supreme Court announced that this year, they will hear arguments in a case on the question of whether same-sex couples should have the freedom to marry and if anti-marriage laws nationwide should be struck down as unconstitutional. The Court granted review of an out-of-step ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, which ruled in November against the freedom to marry in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. In each of these cases, federal judges had ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for all, and the 6th Circuit reversed each decision.