Saturday, February 28, 2015

URGENT ACTION: Business Amicus Brief for Marriage Equality

We invite your business to join us in this historic opportunity!

As you probably know, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider marriage equality this term and this will have major implications for the business community. By June, it will likely decide definitively whether states must allow same-sex couples to marry, and whether states must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who wed elsewhere.

Background: In 2013 the NGLCC and 300 other business organizations (including the GFLGLCC) and Fortune 500 corporations were amici on the Supreme Court case of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 that detailed burdens on employers due to inconsistencies in marriage. We anticipate that the business community will make an even stronger showing in this case. The GFLGLCC - Greater Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is very proud to partner with the NGLCC again.

As such, a broad coalition of Fortune 500 companies, business organizations, and other employers will be filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Court, setting out the business case for marriage equality. In particular, the brief will explain to the Supreme Court how employers are burdened by the inability of certain employees to marry the spouse of their choice, and by the current patchwork of state laws applicable to same-sex marriage. Those burdens include:

* Recruiting/retention challenges in those jurisdictions that do not have marriage equality;
* Corporate administrative and financial burdens;
* Lack of certainty and business uniformity; and
* Requiring employers and HR departments to implement government-mandated regulations that undermine the corporate mission

Please click here for your review and consideration of the most current draft of the brief, and a summary of the cases can be found  here. While the draft will undoubtedly change somewhat between now and filing, the main arguments and topics are included. 

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is serving as pro bono counsel on the amicus brief. If your company would like to join the brief, please follow the link below to fill out a preliminary information sheet. The last day to join the brief is Tuesday, March 3, 2015 and the brief will be filed at the Supreme Court on Friday, March 6, 2015.

Please note that if your company is not already a Morgan Lewis client, they will need to ensure that there are no conflicts issues, and put in place their standard pro bono engagement agreement, which they can provide after you fill out the form linked to above.