Several large corporations in the US are due to file a Supreme Court brief later this week, basically calling on the US Supreme Court to rule that US laws banning same-sex marriages – such as California’s Proposition 8 – are unconstitutional under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.
Proposition 8, which passed into law in 2008, added a clause to the Californian constitution stating that marriage could only be recognized by the state if between a man and woman.
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”, which violates constitutional commitments to “equality and fair treatment to all.”
The brief goes on to suggest that, “recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to marry is more than a constitutional issue. It is a business imperative… 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.”
By way of example, it goes on to state that if potential employees were members of a same-sex couple they, “may forgo the opportunity to work in California, and prefer other states (like Iowa, New York, and Massachusetts) or other nations (like Spain, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, or Belgium) where they can be married and obtain equal treatment and respect under the law.”
The brief also goes to point out that allowing same-sex marriage would help boost the business of those companies connected with marriage ceremonies.
It’s believed that at least 60 companies have committed to signing the brief, with signatories including Apple, Facebook, Intel, Verizon and Morgan Stanley, among many others.
The Supreme Court is due to examine whether to overturn Proposition 8 later in March, hence the timing of the brief, which is due to be filed on Thursday (28 Feb).