Apple, Morgan Stanley, corporations unite to support gay marriage

Gay-marriage advocates, aiming to show broad support as the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue for the first time, have enlisted Apple, Morgan Stanley and dozens of Republicans who once held top government positions…

The justices will hear arguments March 26 on California’s Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that halted gay marriage in the state after it was allowed for five months.

The corporate group, which also includes Facebook and Intel will argue in its brief that gay-marriage bans in 41 states harm workplace morale and undermine recruiting.

“No matter how welcoming the corporate culture, it cannot overcome the societal stigma institutionalized by Proposition 8 and similar laws,” the companies will argue.

The Republican brief will include Jon Huntsman Jr., the former presidential candidate and ex-governor of Utah; Christine Todd Whitman, a onetime New Jersey governor who ran the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush; and three ex-governors of Massachusetts in William Weld, Paul Cellucci and Jane Swift. Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who ran for president last year as a Libertarian, is also part of the group…

A larger group of companies — more than 200, including Goldman Sachs — is also poised to side with gay- rights advocates in a second Supreme Court case, involving a federal law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union. Under that law, known as the Defense of Marriage Act, legally married gay couples can’t claim the federal tax breaks and other benefits available to opposite-sex spouses.

The companies in that case are part of a collection of more than 250 employers, including cities, counties and law firms.

Although the high court often ignores so-called friend-of- the-court briefs, at times they can shape the way some justices view a dispute. When the court upheld university affirmative action in 2003, the majority opinion relied on briefs filed by corporations and former military officers touting the benefits of racial diversity.

In a word — overdue!

But, then, much of what is accepted as progressive and just around the “Free World” is often overdue in the nation that blathers constantly about being the leader in freedom. Unfortunately, the philosophical portion of American politics is demeaned and diluted by religious backwardness, In the face of fundamentalist orthodoxy, cowards masquerading as politicians show about as much leadership as any “Good German” during the rise of the 3rd Reich.

So, the American people are left with – overdue.

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