Corporate giants take on DOMA

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Major corporate giants have joined over 278 other businesses, cities and organizations in filing an amicus brief to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the federal ban on same-sex marriage.

Facebook, Google, Apple, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft and Ebay, as well as the Chambers of Commerce in San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Portland, and Seattle have banded together to fight for marriage equality.

The companies have said that equality is “good business,” arguing that legislation such as DOMA impedes them from hiring great talent who might be LGBT in search of equal benefits from their employers.

In addition, the brief contends that “DOMA requires that employers treat one employee differently from another.”

“At Google, you see people of all different backgrounds–people with green hair, casual and comfortable clothing, and uniqueness,” Google recruiting assistant Paul Morales told 429 Magazine, “and that is exactly what companies like Google emphasize: individuality. They want you to be yourself and comfortable in your working environment, because that is when you produce your best work.”

“While we respect the strongly-held beliefs people have on both sides of this argument, Google sees this fundamentally as an issue of equality — and we support the right of people whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love,” a Google spokesperson told 429Magazine.

A Facebook spokesperson spoke with 429Magazine about the inclusive practices of the company in regards to providing benefits to LGBT employees. The company provides benefits to same-sex partners and dependents in addition to coverage for reassignment surgery under their EPO and PPO medical plans.

The Facebook spokesperson told 429Magazine that it has waived the “requirement for same-sex female partners who wished to conceive to have to go through 6-12 rounds of artificial insemination at their own expense before accessing fertility benefits.”

DOMA covers a number of issues, including tax benefits, pre-tax salaries for health coverage of a same-sex spouse, and childcare for dependents of a same-sex marriage.

According to a W-2 study, a married same-sex employee pays $1,069 more in taxes than a heterosexual, married employee.

DOMA was struck down in October, but in December, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. It is expected to be reviewed at the end of March.

“I think that these companies in the forefront of supporting gay marriage should be looked at as examples to other businesses in the hopes that equality can be achieved,” said Morales.

“The fact that they are in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act is a complete step in the right direction.”

429Magazine

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