The New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Rays, and San Francisco Giants have joined nearly four hundred large companies in an amicus brief intended to convince the Supreme Court to strike down state bans on same-sex marriage.
The brief states that “many states continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, and decline to recognize the valid, existing marriages of citizens married to a spouse of the same sex. This fractured legal landscape harms employers and employees alike.”
The teams and companies assert that the bans hinder their ability to do business. The Patriots, Rays, and Giants all play in states where judges imposed same-sex marriage on the populace. California voters twice rejected homosexual marriage in ballot measures and the courts in Massachusetts blocked attempts to put the question to the voters in the Bay State after a 5-4 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling made the state the first in the nation to recognize same-sex unions. A federal court overturned Florida’s law affirming one man/one woman marriages in January.
The brief asserts that the ban “creates legal uncertainty and imposes unnecessary costs and administrative complexities on employers, and requires differential employer treatment of employees who are similarly situated save for the state where they reside. State laws that prohibit or decline to recognize marriages between same-sex couples hamper employer efforts to recruit and retain the most talented workforce possible in those states.”
Brian Auld, team president of the Rays, informed ESPN, “We’re a small but visible business, and I actually think it’s important that we send this signal of inclusion to the entire region.”
Giants president Larry Baer echoed, “San Francisco is the epicenter of the marriage equality movement and it is only fitting that its professional sports team would join in this effort. The San Francisco Giants are proud to sign the brief because it speaks directly to our core values of equality and social justice for all.”
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage begin on April 28. 37 states and the District of Columbia already endorse same sex-marriage.