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Major Corporations, Law Firms, Civic Organizations, and Cities File Brief Opposing DOMA

by Professor Will Huhn on November 10, 2011

in Equal Protection,Wilson Huhn

A group of 70 business, legal, community, and municipal institutions have filed an amicus brief in the Gill case in opposition to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

On July 8, 2010, federal District Court Judge Jacob Tauro ruled in the case of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the Equal Protection Clause.  The opinion of the district court in Gill is available here.  I described Judge Tauro's decision the day it was handed down in Federal District Court Rules DOMA Unconstitutional.  This case is now on appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Janet Tu of the Seattle Times posted Microsoft, Starbucks among 70 major organizations supporting challenge of DOMA describing the brief.  The brief was filed with the appellate court and is available here.  The brief cites four reasons why the organizations oppose DOMA, which basically boil down to two: first, because DOMA imposes extra accounting expenses on businesses that have to treat same-sex couples as legally married for purposes of state law and as not married for purposes federal law; and second, because DOMA forces employers to act in a discriminatory manner which strains the employer/employee relationship and is inconsistent with the nondiscriminatory business model that these employers wish to follow.  Here are the headings from the brief:

A. The Burden of Compliance with DOMA

1. Workplace Benefits and a Workplace Ethos of Transparent Fairness are Critical to Enterprise Success

2. DOMA Burdens Amiciâs Employees and Strains the Employer/Employee Relationship

3. DOMA Forces Employers to Incur Administrative Burdens and Expense

B. DOMA Forces Employers to Affirm Discrimination They Regard as Injurious to the Corporate Mission

 A full listing of the corporations, law firms and cities who joined the brief follows.

This brief is filed on behalf of the following businesses:

ABT Associates

Aetna, Inc.

Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Alere Inc.

Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

Biogen Idec, Inc.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass., Inc.

Boston Community Capital, Inc.

Boston Medical Center Corp.

Bright Horizons Childrenâs Centers LLC

Calvert Investments, Inc.

CBS Corporation

The Chubb Corporation

Communispace Corp.

Constellation Energy Group, Inc.

Diageo North America, Inc.

Eastern Bank Corp.

Exelon Corp.

FitCorp Healthcare Centers, Inc.

Gammelgården, LLC

Google Inc.

Integrated Archive Systems, Inc.

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group,LLC

Levi Strauss & Co.

Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Trust,LLC

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Massachusetts Envelope Company,Inc.

Massachusetts Financial Services Company

Microsoft Corp.

National Grid USA, Inc.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc.

New England Cryogenic Center, Inc.

NIKE, Inc.

The Ogilvy Group, Inc.

Onyx Phar

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