Companies fight DOMA

by Ana Ceballos

02_28_13_News_SupremeCourt_ThinkstockMore than 200 major corporations, including Starbucks Corp., Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Amazon Inc. urged the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to strike down a federal law restricting the definition of marriage.

According to Reuters, the companies want to urge the Supreme Court to squash the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

Lawyers representing the companies delivered a brief on Wednesday, part of which read that DOMA “requires that employers treat one employee differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is equally lawful.”

Lawyers representing a different group of employers, including a few of the same companies, are also fighting for a similar case in California that questions a law banning gay marriage.

“No matter how welcoming the corporate culture, it cannot overcome the societal stigma institutionalized by (California’s) Proposition 8 and similar laws,” according to a  brief released by the legal team representing the group, Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, said.

The Supreme Court will argue these two cases on March 26 and 27.

Attorney Sabin Willett said companies are often forced to go against their own internal policies and local laws because “the law forces companies to discriminate” when addressing plans for health care and other benefits.

But according to Daniel Fisher of Forbes, the Supreme Court isn’t likely to establish a nationwide, constitutional right to gay marriage.

Same-sex marriage is currently banned in 41 states.