Gay marriage: why corporations are coming out against DOMA – The Christian Science Monitor

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“We are proud of our longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equal treatment of all our employees within our benefits programs,” David Rodriguez, executive vice president of Marriott, said in a statement. “Joining the Business Coalition for DOMA Repeal affirms that commitment, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”

“Proposition 8 inflicts real harm on businesses who are committed to diversity and inclusion because it forces them to treat their gay and lesbian employees like second-class citizens,” says Elizabeth Riel, communications adviser for American Foundation for Equal Rights, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit that challenged Prop. 8 in federal court.

 

Gay marriage: why corporations are coming out against DOMA

 

Nearly 300 US companies filed a brief on behalf of the New York woman whose challenge of DOMA has reached the Supreme Court. Why support gay marriage? For one, it’s just good business.

By Daniel B. Wood, Staff writer / February 27, 2013

The Christian Science Monitor 

 

“A lot of these corporations looked at what happened with Chick-Fil-A last summer and decided that coming out against same-sex marriage is bad for business,” says Robert  Hume, a professor of political science at Fordham University in New York. Chick-Fil-A, the southern-based food franchise, became embroiled in demonstrations and boycotts last year after president Dan Cathy came out against gay marriage and in support of the “biblical definition of the family unit.”

The corporations themselves trumpet their commitment to fairness and inclusion.

“Businesses know the research shows married people tend to be healthier and live longer, are less depressed and have fewer heart attacks,” says Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. “We don’t know that about gays yet, but employers are for now assuming that for the same reason they prefer heterosexual married employees, they prefer gay married to gay single.” He says whether or not the studies are true, “corporate execs believe it to be true and act accordingly.”

Some analysts say the legal justification for striking down DOMA could come from invoking the Interstate Commerce Clause, which DOMA appears to undermine because of the inequities it creates on taxation and inheritances for employees living in different states.