Seattle Metro Chamber signs same-sex marriage amicus brief in Supreme Court case

By: Terri Hiroshima Posted: 03/05/2015

Inconsistent Marriage Laws Pose Significant Burdens on Employers and Employees

Leaving_courthouse_on_first_day_of_gay_marriage_in_Washington_wide"Leaving courthouse on first day of gay marriage in Washington" by Dennis Bratland - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Seattle Metro Chamber today reaffirmed its support for marriage equality, signing on to an amicus brief filed with the United States Supreme Court in support of overturning bans on same-sex marriage, affirming a uniform principle that all couples share in the right to marry.

The Chamber is one of 379 employers and employer organizations urging the High Court to consider the burdens imposed on both employers and employees by a fractured legal landscape with no uniform rule on same-sex marriage. The brief argues that the existing, confused legal landscape places significant burdens on employers and their employees—making it increasingly hard to conduct business.

“Washington state upheld our marriage equality law in 2012, thanks, in part, to the unprecedented support from the business community,” said Maud Daudon, president and CEO of the Seattle Metro Chamber. “This law makes it easier for employers in our region and state to attract and retain talent because all of their married employees enjoy equal rights.”

In addition to ensuring equal rights, nationwide marriage equality makes it easier for businesses to operate. The United States and its employers are in a global competition for top talent, and the provision of equal rights for all couples strengthens the country’s ability to attract the best and the brightest. Ending same-sex marriage bans also reduces the cost burden and administrative headache for employers that operate in states where same-sex couples cannot enjoy the same benefits and rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

The Chamber has been a consistent supporter of marriage equality and in 2012 joined more than 280 employers and business organizations—a number that included just three major chambers of commerce—in support of striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. In addition, Chamber President and CEO Maud Daudon co-authored an op-ed with Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Paul Guzzi about why overturning DOMA made business sense. The Chamber also strongly supported Referendum 74, which upheld Washington’s marriage equality law and was approved by voters in 2012.  

In addition to the Chamber, other amici range from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 100 companies, and are evenly distributed across many of the country’s most important industries, including technology, finance, sports, healthcare, and retail.