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Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google team up to support marriage equality

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A total of 379 companies, including tech's biggest names, are trying to convince the Supreme Court to rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality. These corporations, including Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have filed an amici curiae or a friend-of-the-court brief prior to the high court's April hearing that will decide the future of same-sex marriage in the US. The court is slated to discuss whether same-sex couples have the constitutional right to get married anywhere in the country. In case that doesn't pan out, the court will also discuss whether same-sex marriages performed in states where it's legal must be recognized even in states where it's not. If you read the filing, you'll see the companies emphasize repeatedly how marriage equality benefits American businesses.

They listed a number of ways how, such as that it will allow them to offer everyone the same benefits to entice top talent. It can also prevent employees from leaving and moving to states that recognize their marriage. Diversity in the workplace, brought in part by members of the LGBT community, is "crucial to innovation and marketplace success," the companies' wrote.

We've pasted parts of the filing below that explain their stance in greater detail (emphasis ours):

Some of the states in which amici (the 379 companies) do business make marriage equally available to all of our employees and colleagues; others prohibit marriages between couples of the same sex and refuse to recognize existing same-sex marriages. This dual regime burdens amici. It creates legal uncertainty and imposes unnecessary costs and administrative complexities on employers, and requires differential employer treatment of employees who are similarly situated save for the state where they reside.

State laws that prohibit or decline to recognize marriages between same-sex couples hamper employer efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible in those states. Our successes depend upon the welfare and morale of all employees, without distinction. The burden imposed by inconsistent and discriminatory state laws of having to administer complicated schemes to account for differential treatment of similarly situated employees breeds unnecessary confusion, tension, and diminished employee morale.

A diverse, inclusive workplace environment increases the total human energy available to the organization. People can bring far more of themselves to their jobs because they are required to suppress far less. Inclusive companies are more open to new ideas and opportunities, while less prone to overconfidence when approaching challenges. Companies that are diverse and inclusive obtain better profits and other outputs, thanks to improved team collaboration and commitment.

Aside from the Big Four, other tech companies in the list include Amazon, Comcast, Cisco, DocuSign, Dropbox, eBay, EA, GE, HP, Intel, Oracle, Qualcomm Incorporated, Symantec, Twitter, Verizon, Xerox and Zynga. There are multi-national corporations from other industries, as well, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Walt Disney and United Airlines. You can see the full list in the amici curiae document, along with links to the studies the group used to back their arguments.

[Image credit: Shutterstock / govicinity]

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