Washington D.C., Mar 8, 2015 / 14:18 pm
With the Supreme Court set to rule on a potentially far-reaching marriage case this summer, several hundred corporations are pushing for the court to require "gay marriage" recognition nationwide.
Reuters reported last week that almost 400 businesses had filed a "friend of the court" brief favoring a redefinition of marriage in a set of cases before the Court that will decide whether states, under the Fourteenth Amendment, must grant same-sex "marriage" licenses and recognize "gay marriages" conducted in other states.
The list of businesses includes a host of media, communications, and entertainment companies: Thompson Reuters Corporation, Disney, Viacom, Inc., Bloomberg, Verizon, DirectTV, Google, Comcast, CBS, and AT&T.
Social media companies Facebook and Twitter signed on to the brief. Even a few professional sports teams joined the list: the National Football League's New England Patriots and Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays.
In addition, the list of businesses included financial companies, hotel companies, retail giants, and food and beverage corporations like PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Miller Coors.
But Ryan Anderson, an author and scholar on marriage, religion and freedom, argued that big business should not push the Supreme Court to decide something that should be determined by the states.
"There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires the states to redefine marriage, and big business should not lobby the Supreme Court to say otherwise," he told CNA.
"That so many big businesses are lobbying the Court, though, puts to rest the claim that gays and lesbians are a politically powerless 'suspect class' that is in need of special protections from the Court," he continued. "The debate about marriage should be worked out democratically, not cut short by the Court."
The companies' argument for legalizing "gay marriage" was on the grounds that a division is created between states that have redefined marriage and those that have not.
This division, the legal brief said, creates a "fractured legal landscape" that "harms employers and employees alike," resulting in inconsistent policies and a hindered ability to attract and retain employee talent.
The Supreme Court announced Thursday that it will hear oral arguments on marriage April 28. The case is expected to be decided in June.
The case stems from the Sixth Circuit Court decision in November upholding traditional marriage amendments in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The judges decided that the question of marriage should be left to the citizens and state legislatures and not the judiciary.
"Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges on this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea," the judges stated.
"Better in this instance, we think, to allow change through the customary political processes, in which the people, gay and straight alike, become the heroes of their own stories by meeting each other not as adversaries in a court system but as fellow citizens seeking to resolve a new social issue in a fair-minded way," the circuit opinion concluded.