Fortune 500 companies and other businesses have formed a coalition to promote marriage equality for same-sex couples. The group is working with the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT civil rights group.
The coalition, according to a release from HRC, is focusing on the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, resulting in the denial of more than 1,000 federal benefits associated with marriage.
DOMA faces multiple court challenges, including a case set to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in March.
DOMA also could be repealed with passage of the Respect for Marriage Act, which has limited bipartisan support in Congress. Republican U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, Richard Hanna of New York and Charles Bass of New Hampshire were among those supporting the bill in the last Congress.
U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have sponsored the legislation, and are likely to reintroduce it next month.
The coalition includes Marriott International, A|X Armani Exchange, Aetna Inc., Biogen Idec, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Diageo North America, eBay Inc., Electronic Arts, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Replacements, Ltd., Sun Life Financial U.S. and Thomson Reuters.
"Marriott was founded on the principle of putting its people first, and that includes our LGBT associates," said David Rodriguez, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Marriott International. "We are proud of our longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal treatment of all our employees within our benefits programs. Joining the business coalition for DOMA Repeal affirms that commitment, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation."
"We're proud to join the HRC and our coalition partners in supporting this important initiative that reflects Thomson Reuters’ own principles and policies on diversity, inclusion, fairness and equality," said Patsy Doerr at Thomson Reuters.
On the Web…
Companies interested in joining the coalition can sign-up here.