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Nearly 300 Companies And Municipalities File Brief Against DOMA

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"Nearly 300 Companies And Municipalities File Brief Against DOMA"

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Nearly 300 companies, along with several law firms and municipalities, have submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Many recognizable companies signed on, including Adobe, Amazon, Apple, CBS, Cisco Systems, Citigroup, eBay, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Google, Intel, JetBlue Airways, The Jim Henson Company, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss, Mars, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Pfizer, Planet Fitness, Starbucks, Sun Life Financial, Twitter, Viacom, the Walt Disney Company, and Xerox. They are joined by the cities of Baltimore, Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Providence, San Francisco, and Seattle, among others. One interesting signatory of note is Bain & Company, the management consultant firm that Mitt Romney once worked for — not to be confused with Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital.

The brief argues that DOMA places burdens on companies that impede their ability to recruit and retain productive employees because of the strains on benefits. In many ways, these companies are bound by the law to discriminate against their employees against their wishes, and they often incur financial burdens to simply find ways to navigate around DOMA. These companies make it clear that it violates their business models to comply with DOMA:

DOMA imposes on amici not simply considerable burden of compliance and cost. DOMA conscripts amici to become the face of its mandate that two separate castes of married persons be identified and separately treated. As employers, we must administer employment-related health-care plans, retirement plans, family leave, and COBRA. We must impute the value of spousal health-care benefits to our employees’ detriment. We must treat one employee less favorably, or at minimum differently, when each is as lawfully married as the other. We must do all of this in states, counties, and cities that prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and demand equal treatment of all married individuals. This conscription has harmful consequences. [...]

Our principles are not platitudes. Our mission statements are not simply plaques in the lobby. Statements of principle are our agenda for success: born of experience, tested in laboratory, factory, and office, attuned to competition. Our principles reflect, in the truest sense, our business judgment. By force of law, DOMA rescinds that judgment and directs that we renounce these principles or, worse yet, betray them.

These companies have made it clear that inequality harms not just the families of LGBT people, but American businesses as well. As Joe Jervis suggests, conservatives would have a difficult time boycotting so many ubiquitous companies.

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