Yesterday morning, 379 companies filed a brief with the Supreme Court asking for their intervention in numerous state bans on same-sex marriage. Listed in the brief, alongside companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, are three North American professional sports teams: the New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Rays, and San Francisco Giants. Currently, 37 states allow for same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments on marriage equality in April. They'll rule on the case in June.
Although it's encouraging to see huge corporations and our cherished sports teams take an ostensive moral stand for gay rights—especially when leagues like the NFL and certain athletes haven't been overly conducive to progress—don't get this twisted. These teams aren't so much planting a rainbow flag on their stadiums, but rather making moves for the benefit of their employees. Business isn't always just business, and good businesses don't discriminate against employees.
Here's an excerpt from the brief:
Employers are better served by a uniform marriage rule that gives equal dignity to employee relationships. Allowing same-sex couples to marry improves employee morale and productivity, reduces uncertainty, and removes the wasteful administrative burdens imposed by the current disparity of state law treatment.
Rays team president Brian Auld commented on the brief to ESPN.com. "We're a small but visible business," he said, "and I actually think it's important that we send this signal of inclusion to the entire region."
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