Saturday, November 12, 2011

70 US companies file a legal brief in court saying the Defense of Mariage Act hurts business. Oh, I can hardly wait to see how the Republicans spin THIS one!

Courtesy of the Advocate:

Top U.S. companies including Google, Microsoft, and Starbucks took the unusual step on Thursday of legally documenting their opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act. 

A brief filed in court comes from 70 businesses and organizations that want their voice heard on the constitutionality of DOMA, which bans same-sex marriage from being recognized federally and stops couples married in states such as Massachusetts from having their weddings recognized in less accepting places such as Alabama. 

The companies paint the law as an overburdening government regulation that should be repealed. 

Their brief points out that the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is defending DOMA in court on the notion that it imposes "a uniform rule" on whose marriage is recognized. "The perspective of the American employer who must implement DOMA is very different," the companies state. "Employers are obliged to treat one employee spouse differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is equally lawful." 

The companies say DOMA "forces" them "to investigate the gender of the spouses of our lawfully married employees and then to single out those employees with a same-sex spouse." For example, HIPPA laws usually consider marriage a "qualifying event" that automatically enrolls a spouse in an employee's health insurance. Companies now spend time and money weeding out any gay employees who get married.

You know, THAT is a pretty succinct argument.

One has to wonder how a political party that considers itself the party of capitalism, and a friend to business, would be able to argue against repealing a law which places such an undue burden on the job creators in the country?

Here is a list of the 70 companies that added their support to the brief:

ABT Associates 
Aetna, Inc. 
Akamai Technologies, Inc. 
Alere Inc. 
Bank of New York Mellon Corporation 
Biogen Idec, Inc. 
Blue Cross 
Blue Shield of Mass., Inc. 
Boston Community Capital, Inc. 
Boston Medical Center Corp. 
Bright Horizons Children’s Centers LLC 
Calvert Investments, Inc. 
CBS Corporation 
The Chubb Corporation 
Communispace Corp. 
Constellation Energy Group, Inc. 
Diageo North America, Inc. 
Eastern Bank Corp. 
Exelon Corp. 
FitCorp Healthcare Centers, Inc. 
Gammelg√•rden, LLC 
Google Inc. 
Integrated Archive Systems, Inc. 
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC 
Levi Strauss & Co. 
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Trust, LLC 
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. 
Massachusetts Envelope Company, Inc. 
Massachusetts Financial Services Company 
Microsoft Corp. 
National Grid USA, Inc. 
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. 
New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. 
New England Cryogenic Center, Inc. 
NIKE, Inc. 
The Ogilvy Group, Inc. 
Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 
Partners HealthCare System, Inc. 
Reproductive Science Center of New England 
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. 
Starbucks Corp. 
State Street Bank and Trust Co. 
Stonyfield Farm, Inc. 
Sun Life Financial (U.S.) Services Co., Inc. 
Time Warner Cable, Inc. 
Trillium Asset Management Corp. 
W/​S Development Associates LLC 
Xerox Corp. 
Zipcar, Inc. 

Law and professional firms: 
Burns & Levinson LLP 
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP 
Foley Hoag LLP 
Goodwin Proctor LLP 
Goulston & Storrs, P.C. McCarter & English LLP 
Nixon Peabody LLP 
Parthenon Group LLC 
Ropes & Gray LLP 
Salera Consulting Seyfarth Shaw LLP 
Sullivan & Worcester LLP 

Professional, trade and civic organizations: 
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 
The Boston Foundation Massachusetts Association of Health Plans 
Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, Inc. 
The National Fire Protection Association 
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates 
Retailers Association of Massachusetts 

And the following cities: 
The City of Boston, MA 
The City of Cambridge, MA 
The City of New York, NY

Gee, I wonder where the homophobes and Fundamentalists will be doing their shopping this holiday season? Or do their web surfing? Or their banking? Or buy their coffee?

I mean surely they would not deign to spend their hard earned money with any companies that supported LGBT rights. Right?


  1. Anonymous2:28 AM

    I was so proud when I saw this at work yesterday - my company is one of them!


  2. angela2:35 AM

    Yes, we all know how the GOP feels about big business; they figure from any corporation's mouth to their god's ear . . . .


  3. ManxMamma2:56 AM

    Right now I'm feeling very proud to reside in Boston. This list is amazing and I hope this has a huge impact!

  4. This is brilliant!

  5. Anonymous4:43 AM

    I am proud to work for a company that has recognized partnerships in terms of benefits since 1990. This not only included same-sex partnerships/marriage, but also significant others sharing a household.

    8 Years ago they also started covering gender reassignment as part of insurance benefits.

    Yay for TIAA!

  6. It's about gd time! I am SO SICK of ANY argument against gay marriage or adoption.

    Why in the HELL did anyone, EVER, get to decide another American's right to have consensual sex with an adult? Even a relationship?

    Wtf does gender have to do with anything?

    And adoption?


    A quick stroll through "actual" sexual fetishes will make your eyes pop, your jaw drop...

    And yet, no one gives two shits (yup, that's a fetish!) that THESE um, um, dammit, I'm going with"freaky", these freaky people can adopt!

    This is America!

    Get the hell out of other people's bedrooms!

    The irony of course is that the GOP keeps insisting they want LESS government involvement in your life.

    Apart from telling pregnant women what they HAVE to do, and telling gays what they CAN'T do.

    So, ya know, they'll leave"real" Americans like the poor and destitute to pull themselves up by their own boo t straps without any of that pesky government interference (i.e. Money, food,

    And they'll just use their government influence to address the lives of the"heathens" and "others" who they feel are ruining OUR xtian, white America.

  7. Kimosabe4:59 AM

    This list is Boston and Silicon Valley, the hotbeds of gay lefty pinkos. It would be better if it included the likes of Walmart, Cargill, mutual of Omaha, John Deere.

  8. Anonymous5:02 AM

    And they are speaking the language from the only real kind of citizen the GOP care to hear from. Are they going to become tone deaf on free market desiring to progress marriage equality for all human beings?

    Because no, we aren't talking marriage between a man and an exotic pet.

    We are talking about hard working Americans that are creating nuclear families and contributing to their communities and work places.

  9. Mark In Everett WA5:18 AM

    As a 52-year old always openly gay man, this makes me very happy. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Living in western WA it's nice to see Microsoft, Starbucks, and Google all there, among others. Although I don't work for them they've helped create an atmosphere where it's easy to be open, where hardworking and skilled people - regardless of orientation - are valued and rewarded. Bravo to all of these companies for standing up for equality!

  10. Anonymous5:19 AM

    I am delighted to see Stonyfield Farm on the list. As a loyal consumer of their organic dairy products, I'll be happy to do my part now and recommend their products. They are not JUST organic, but their milk comes from grass fed, pastured cows which makes it taste delicious! No more chemical aftertaste in the milk and yogurt or greasy texture in the half and half. Yes, they do cost more, but the flavor and health benefits are so worth it.

  11. Anonymous5:30 AM

    Also, the "weeding out" process opens a company up to discrimination lawsuits. How are they going to decide who "looks" or "acts" gay and might be subject to investigation? Hmmm? Oh, yes, this is a big ole can of worms.

  12. Anonymous6:14 AM

    Not to mention how employers can't transfer executives to new regions because their marital status would be changed.

    Yep. This oughtta be good.

  13. Anonymous6:20 AM

    Stonyfield is form New Hampshire - Republican NH, BTW, Kimostupid Troll.

    And they are owned largely owned by Dannon/Danone.

  14. Anonymous6:22 AM

    @5:19 - yes, great yogurt and I always buy it if I haven't had time to make homemade. did you know they now also own/make OIKOS the great Greek yogurt. Never buy sour cream again.

  15. Anonymous7:03 AM

    @4:43 I'm proud too -- to live in a country where same-sex marriage is legal and recognized from sea to sea to sea. Go Canada!

  16. Anonymous7:03 AM

    L.O.V.E. IT ! !

    I'm thrilled to see some really large corporations on this list. Good for all the companies that decided to stand up for the rights of all people to love whom they want.

  17. Anonymous7:33 AM

    I'm impressed with the list of companies adding their support. Let this be an example to other businessess, the LGBT community, for the most part, are upwardly mobile, well educated and have more disposable income that all businessess should earn the right to profit from.

    By lending their voice to this cause not only sends a clear message, but shows they "get" what the constitution is about. All people are created equal.

    Can't wait for the response from the Republican bigots.

  18. EX Cat7:34 AM

    Oh, but spin it they will.

  19. Anonymous7:43 AM

    anon @ 6:20

    Is it necessary to be so nasty?

    First, NH may be leaning Republican right now, but they have a long history as a swing state, so don't be so quick to write them off.

    Second, check your own post and learn to write. Both of your sentences have errors.

    Third, get your facts straight. Danone does not = Dannon. While Group Danone is the parent company of Dannon, and is a major shareholder of Stonyfield, that does not equate to Dannon owning Stonyfield or having any sway over operations.

    Fourth - try being nicer. You'll live longer.

  20. Anonymous7:44 AM

    Opps Kimosabe...looks like YOU stepped in it! LOL!

  21. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Excellent news! Thx for sharing!

  22. "Gee, I wonder where the homophobes and Fundamentalists will be doing their shopping this holiday season?"

    Um, Amazon? Where are those bastards on this list?

  23. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Is there a list on-line of those in the House who support DOMA? I think that should be published right along with this article. :-)

  24. Kimosabe12:49 PM

    Anon @ 7:44

    LOL indeed! That's ok, I enjoy playing devils advocate; not my prob if some people don't get that. I caracturized (?) what i would expect to be the RWNJ response to the list, but I think it true that more "middle America" entries on it would give it more heft. That takes nothing away from those that stood up to join. Cheers!

  25. Chella1:23 PM

    If they are trying to "defend" marriage, why not make divorce illegal? Oh, because that wouldn't be fair for those in abusive, loveless marriages. My mother divorced my father because we turned into a horrible, abusive, manipulative man, and she had every right to kick his sorry ass to the door. But as a bisexual woman, I wouldn't have the right to marry my girlfriend. If republicans and Christian conservatives are SO worried that allowing us queers the same equal rights as "opposite sex" couples will bring marriage down in flames, why don't they ask all of the abusive, cheating, emotional manipulative, scum bags who are destroying 50% of the marriages in this country to knock it off? my best friend (a gay man in a perfect, loving relationship) and I have a plan. When we're both ready to get married, I'll marry his boyfriend, and he will marrying girlfriend. I'll carry my girlfriend and my child, and she will carry theirs. Sure, if we're dying in the hospital, our "real" spouces won't be able to visit, but at least we'll have tax breaks, cheaper car insurance and be giving "a giant middle finger" to the man!

  26. Excellent, excellent post....I hope this has real impact.


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