Apple, along with Google and more than 370 other companies have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging for nation-wide legalization of same-sex marriage. The filing was entered into the court ahead of next month's hearing on the issue.
Apple urges U.S. Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex marriage
The brief was filed in the Obergefell v Hodges Supreme Court case which is expected to determine whether or not the U.S. Constitution protects the right for same-sex couples to marry. Currently, states can set their own laws supporting or restricting same-sex marriage, and only 36 states are in support.
Other companies named in the amicus brief include Amazon, AT&T, Cisco, Comcast, Drobox, Facebook, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Nike, Twitter, Wells Fargo, and more.
Instead of going with a basic "It's just the right thing to do" argument, the companies chose to present their argument as good for business. They said dealing with different laws depending on the states where their employees live can be confusing, and workers could choose to leave areas and their jobs to live where same-sex marriage is legal. By leaving their homes and communities, local business and the economy suffer.
Morgan Lewis, the legal firm representing the companies in the brief, said state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage make it difficult for companies to recruit qualified employees.
"The patchwork of inconsistent state marriage laws makes it challenging and more costly for employers to administer benefits systems when some employees are unable to marry, and other employees' marriages are not recognized by the state," said Morgan Lewis Partner Susan Baker Manning. "This burdens businesses by costing them both time and money."
Considering Apple's already public support for equal rights it isn't a surprise to see the company supporting a nation-wide ban on laws prohibiting marriage based on sex. CEO Tim Cook has openly criticized discrimination against the LGBT community, and has said he is gay, too.
There isn't any guarantee the Supreme Court will strike down state laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, but considering this is an equal rights issue and there's a growing surge of support for same-sex marriage, we can hope the outcome in this case will be in line with the sentiment in this new amicus brief.