Top U.S. Companies File Brief In Support Of Gay Marriage

A number of high-profile U.S. companies on Thursday will file a brief with the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage, Fortune reported.

Corporations such as Apple, Facebook, eBay, Intel and Morgan Stanley will submit the amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which will address the legality of laws such as Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure in California, that ban same-sex marriage. The brief by the corporations will follow one filed this week by dozens of prominent Republicans that also argues in favor of same-sex marriage.

From Fortune:

According to a draft copy obtained by Fortune, the companies argue that such laws “send an unmistakeable signal that same-sex couples are in some way inferior to opposite-sex couples, a proposition that is anathema to amici’s commitment to equality and fair treatment to all.”

At least 60 companies had committed to signing the brief as of Tuesday evening, according to Joshua Rosenkranz, who is counsel of record on the brief and head of the Supreme Court and appellate litigation practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. That number is expected to rise by Thursday, however, according to Rosenkranz. Others who have already committed to sign include AIG, Becton Dickinson, Cisco, Cummins, Kimpton, Levi Strauss, McGraw Hill, NCR, Nike, Office Depot, Oracle, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Xerox.

Though the brief adopts by reference all of the arguments of the main brief challenging the constitutionality of Prop 8—filed last week by Theodore Olson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner—it also argues that “recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to marry is more than a constitutional issue. It is a business imperative.”

Fleshing out that contention, the companies argue: “By singling out a group for less favorable treatment, Proposition 8 impedes businesses from achieving the market’s ideal of efficient operations—particularly in recruiting, hiring, and retaining talented people who are in the best position to operate at their highest capacity. Amici are competing domestically and internationally with companies inside and outside the United States in places where all couples, regardless of whether they are of the same sex, are afforded equal access to marriage.”

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