Patriots, Rays, SF Giants Petition Supreme Court To Back Gay Marriage

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Three sport teams are among the 379 large companies to join an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage, claiming the laws negatively affect their ability to do business.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on April 28 on gay marriage, which is legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia, and will rule in June. But for the New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Rays, and San Francisco Giants, all of which signed on to yesterday's amicus brief, this isn't about ideology, or fairness, or even basic human decency. It's just good business to treat all your employees the same.


From the brief:

Some of the states in which amici 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.


"We're a small but visible business," Rays team president Brian Auld told ESPN, "and I actually think it's important that we send this signal of inclusion to the entire region."

In a statement, Giants president Larry Baer said: "San Francisco is the epicenter of the marriage equality movement and it is only fitting that its professional sports team would join in this effort. The San Francisco Giants are proud to sign the brief because it speaks directly to our core values of equality and social justice for all."

The filing is below.