Google, Starbucks and Microsoft are
among the 70 companies that have filed an amicus brief opposing the
Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bars federal
agencies and the military from recognizing the legal marriages of gay
and lesbian couples.
In their filing in support of a legal
challenge to the law, the companies argued that the law forces them
to treat their employees differently.
“Because marriages are celebrated and
recognized under state law, a federal law withholding marital
benefits from some lawful marriages, but not others, creates a
non-uniform rule. Employers are obliged to treat one employee spouse
differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is
equally lawful,” the
companies said in their brief.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay rights advocate, said
the filing shows that DOMA hurts business.
“Not only does DOMA hurt families,
now we have a clear picture of how it also harms American business,”
Solmonese said in a statement. “With a majority of Americans also
opposing this law, the time has come for the federal government to
treat all legally married couples equally.”
Other companies signing on to the brief
include CBS, Levis Strauss, Nike and Time Warner Cable.