Same-sex marriage helps the private sector thrive, and that is why, if one believes in protecting free markets, then same-sex marriage should be legal, businesses on Wednesday argued in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.
At least sixty major corporations filed an amicus curiae brief in support of overturning Proposition 8—a move, depending on how the Court writes the decision, that could establish a right to same-sex marriage not only in California but in the country as a whole. More may sign on before the filing deadline on Thursday.
By singling out a group for less favorable treatment, Proposition 8 impedes businesses from achieving the market’s ideal of efficient operations—particularly in recruiting, hiring, and retaining talented people who are in the best position to operate at their highest capacity.
With regard to recruiting, it hurts companies and the economy when the choice in taking a job at one firm or the other is not based on its salary offer or a belief in its prospects, but by whether it is based in a state the recognizes the employee’s marriage.
The brief argues that "increased wedding celebrations can mean additional revenue for many businesses -- such as businesses involved directly in wedding celebrations, businesses that produce goods often given as gifts to newlyweds, and businesses that benefit from increased tourism from guests who travel to the wedding."
A third of lesbian couples and a fifth of gay couples who live together already have children, according to the Census, and a lack of access to marriage takes both social and economic security away from them.
When it comes to family finances one must wonder how much it might save Medicare if, earlier in life, a person had access to preventive care through a spouse’s insurance. Marriage equality does not inflate budgets; it removes irrational distortions from them.
The court will hear arguments in the case against Proposition 8 on March 26, and consider the federal government's ban on same-sex marriage benefits the following day. The Obama administration is weighing whether to file arguments with the high court by that deadline. The Justice Department already has taken the position in court that the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.