- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 28, 2013

The world’s corporate giants are throwing their weight behind gay marriage by signing a brief to the Supreme Court that equal rights for gays under the law is good for big business.

Backers of the friend-of-the-court brief include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft Adobe, Apple, Cisco, eBay, Electronic Arts, Intel, Intuit, Oracle, Twitter Zynga, Citigroup, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, Nike, CBS Corp., Starbucks and Disney, Wired.com reports. A total of 278 companies joined the initiative.

The brief argues that the Defense of Marriage Act hurt business in that it “impairs” employer/employee relations and other business interests,” because it “requires that employers treat one employee differently from another, when each is married, and each marriage is equally lawful.”

The brief continues that DOMA’s impact “is keenly felt by organizations that conduct operations or do business in jurisdictions that authorize or recognize marriage between two people of the same sex.”

The companies say that DOMA not only burdens them with extra costs and bureaucratic red tape, but it impacts morale and forces employers to betray their beliefs.

“DOMA conscripts [companies] to become the face of its mandate that two separate castes of married persons be identified and separately treated,” it reads. “In the modern workplace, the employer becomes the face of DOMA’s discriminatory treatment, and is placed in the role of intrusive inquisitor, imputer of taxable income, and withholder of benefits.”

Just Tuesday it was reported that 75 prominent Republicans filed their own brief supporting gay marriage, including Meg Whitman and Jon Hunstman.

The Supreme Court is set to hear back-to-back arguments in March on the legal challenge to Prop 8 and DOMA.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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