Groupon, United Airlines join hundreds of companies to support marriage equality

Wed. March 11, 2015 3:51 PM by News Staff

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Same-sex marriage good for business, corporations tell Supreme Court

Chicago-based Groupon and United Airlines are among the 379 companies that have signed on to an amici curiae or friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage.

"Our corporate principles of diversity and inclusion are the right thing to do," the companies say in the brief (pdf). "Beyond that, however, such policies contribute to employee happiness and loyalty, greater company productivity, and, ultimately, significant returns for our shareholders and owners."

In 2013, Groupon was one of the first businesses to support Illinois' push for marriage equality. Both Groupon and United Airlines received a 100 percent score on HRC's 2015 Corporate Equality Index (pdf).

Some of the other companies that filed the brief include Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Coca-Cola, Comcast, DirectTV, Disney, eBay, Facebook, General Mills, Google, HP, Microsoft, Pepsi, Twitter, Verizon, Xerox, and Zynga. The list also includes three professional sports teams, the New England Patriots, the San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays.

"Our employees are our most valuable assets -- and yet the law treats many of them as second-class citizens," says the brief. "The reality is that even 'small differences in how people are treated ...convey strong messages about [their] perceived relative value."

In friend-of-the-court briefs, the Supreme Court permits interested parties not directly involved in a case to offer their views.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage starting in late April. It is expected to issue a decision in June.

Gay couples can currently marry in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia.

Related: Emanuel, City of Chicago join other mayors backing marriage equality (Windy City Times)