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Brief Filed with Supreme Court to Strike Down DOMA
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A supporting brief was filed with the Supreme Court on Wednesday by a group of the country’s largest companies. The brief argues that the federal Defense of Marriage Act causes serious administrative and financial costs associated with their operations. The companies want a section of the law overturned. That section is the one that denies federal benefits and recognition to same-sex couples, according to The New York Times.

There were 278 signatures on the brief, with over 200 of them being companies. Some of those companies included Citigroup, Apple, Mars and Alcoa. There were also law firms and city governments listed.

  
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A group of Republicans announced that they would file a brief to defeat Proposition 8 from California. The signers of the initial brief said that the federal law “puts us, as employers, to unnecessary cost and administrative complexity. It forces us to treat one class of our lawfully married employees differently than another, when our success depends upon the welfare and morale of all employees.”

James Klein, the president of the American Benefits Council in Washington, said, “We feel it’s critical for the court to understand the burdens that this law imposes on both employers and employees. DOMA is not just a piece of social legislation, but it also has very practical costs for the business community and the people they employ.”

Other companies that signed the brief include Walt Disney, Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, Levi Strauss, Marriott International, New York Life, the U.S. Balloon Company in Brooklyn and Holdredge Wines in California. Firms from Wall Street that signed the brief include Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, and Goldman Sachs.

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Bernadette Harrigan, an assistant vice president in the law department for the Massachusetts Mutual Life Company, a signer of the brief, said, “It’s 2013, the face of the nation is changing and to be competitive, to win in business today, you need to change with the demographics of the nation.”

The candy company Mars said in a statement, “Mars’ decision to support the amicus brief was based on our belief that all married Mars associates should be treated equally under the law.”



A statement released by Johnson & Johnson said, “We have joined the amicus brief because, as an employer, we believe that all lawfully married employees should be treated by our company in the same way.”

John Holdredge, of Holdredge Wines in Healdsburg, Calif., said in a telephone interview, “We don’t want to have to ask employees about their orientation and we don’t want to have to discriminate.”



 

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