The marriage of the Market Is God crowd with the Fundamentalist “Homophobia and Misogyny Are God” crowd has always been funny to me. Anyone who’s ever paid attention to that tenuous marriage understands that rank-and-file Republican leaders really don’t view social conservatives as anything more than useful idiots. Therefore it’s always entertaining when Big Bidness squarely slaps them in the face. This is one of those times:
Some of the nation’s most prominent corporations have joined the legal battle against the federal ban on marital benefits for same-sex couples, saying the law drives up employers’ costs and makes them the agents of government-sanctioned bias.
The 1996 law, known as the Defense of Marriage Act or DOMA, “conscripts (employers) to become the face of its discrimination,” lawyers for 60 companies said Thursday in papers filed with a federal appeals court in Boston.
Participants included Microsoft, Google, Aetna, Nike, Levi Strauss, Starbucks, CBS and Time Warner Cable. The brief was also signed by several trade organizations and the city governments of Boston, New York and Cambridge, Mass.
DOMA denies federal benefits, including joint tax filings, Social Security survivor coverage and immigration privileges, to same-sex couples legally married in their states.
In short, DOMA makes it more difficult for them to do business, and it makes it difficult for them to treat their employees fairly. One place the corporate world is far and away ahead of society is that, as the piece points out, 94% of Fortune 500 companies prohibit discrimination against gay employees, to some extent or another. With DOMA in place, not only does it put an undue burden on corporations when it comes to things like paying for spousal health insurance, but companies have to go against what they actually believe in by treating their gay employees unfairly.
Corporations, of course, are equal opportunity donors to both the Republican and Democratic parties. However, when it comes to voters, the ones who are most likely to defend, at all costs, the rights of companies to do as they wish tend to be Republicans.
Oh, it must be confusing to be Tony Perkins these days!