FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
206.363.9188 | MattL@thegsba.org
GSBA and Over 50 Members Urge Supreme Court to Affirm Marriage Equality
Seattle businesses lead the nation in speaking up for equality
SEATTLE – March 5 – The Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) added its name to a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was filed today, in the Obergefell v. Hodges case. GSBA is joined by 378 organizations and businesses, including 53 GSBA members and 18 fellow LGBT chambers. The Court announced today that it will hear the case on April 28.
The brief (text can be found here) explains to the Supreme Court how employers are burdened by the inability of certain employees to marry the spouse of their choice, and by the current patchwork of state laws applicable to same-sex marriage. Those burdens include:
· Recruiting/retention challenges in those jurisdictions that do not have marriage equality;
· Corporate administrative and financial burdens;
· Lack of certainty and business uniformity; and
· Requiring employers and human resources departments to implement government-mandated regulations that undermine the corporate mission.
The Court will likely decide definitively whether states must allow same-sex couples to marry, and whether states must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who wed elsewhere. The Court has stated that it will be addressing the questions of whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and if the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully performed out-of-state.
GSBA has been working on marriage equality and building the business case for equality for many years through signing onto court briefs, legislative advocacy and referenda advocacy. In addition, GSBA is a recognized leader in educating legislators at all levels of government about and advocating for equal rights with tax and immigration laws. Hundreds of businesses filed a pro-marriage equality brief in the 2013 Windsor v. U.S. and Perry v. Hollingsworth cases. Over twenty percent of signatories to those briefs were GSBA members based in the Puget Sound region.
As an LGBT and allied chamber working to achieve equality in business for over 34 years, GSBA President & CEO Louise Chernin stated “we couldn’t be more proud than being able to take an early lead and reach out to our business members and other LGBT chambers around the country, encouraging them to join GSBA and sign the amicus brief. For businesses to be successful in today’s competitive economy, it is essential that employers be able to have an inclusive work environment in which all employees are treated respectfully and fairly.”
The architects of the amicus brief (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP) also requested that GSBA once again reach out to its members and other LGBT chambers around the United States. The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) also signed on as an amici and worked with its qualifying affiliate chambers to join the amicus brief.
Members who signed on include:
Bank of America
Bigelow Villa LLC
Captain Wendell’s Marine Services LLC
Central Physical Therapy & Fitness, PSC
City Catering Company
City Light Neon, Inc.
CMIT Solutions of Seattle Downtown
Columbia FunMap, Inc.
Crazy Misfits Pet Services
David Kosar Insurance Agency
Express Movers Inc.
Group Health Cooperative
Homeward Pet Adoption Center
Integrity Law Group
Jennifer Brown Consulting
Jonathan L. Bowman, Attorney at Law, PS
Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group, LLC
Kollmar Sheet Metal Works, Inc.
Larson Marketing & Communications LLC
Law Office of Lisa E. Schuchman
Law Office of Susan K. Fuller, PLLC
Mona Smith PLLC
New York Life Insurance Company
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
The Seattle Lesbian
Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Skellenger Bender, PS
Spectra Law PS
Spry Vision, Inc.
Stuffed Cakes, LLC
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
Wells Fargo & Company
Fellow LGBT chamber joining us include:
Austin Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Charlotte Business Guild
Desert Business Association, Palm Springs
Greater Connecticut Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Greater San Diego Business Association
Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of Nevada
Independence Business Association, Philadelphia
Inland Northwest Business Association
Lambda Business Association, Las Vegas
Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce
Plexus LGBT and Allied Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Ohio
Portland Area Business Association
Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Please contact Matt Landers at MattL@thegsba.org or 206.363.9188 for more information as for interview requests.
# # #
About the Greater Seattle Business Association
Established in 1981, the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA) is the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and allied chamber of commerce in North America. GSBA is widely known for its work on business development, connecting community through business, advocacy on behalf of civil rights and businesses and promoting LGBT tourism through its Travel Gay Seattle initiative. GSBA invests in the next generation of leaders by sponsoring a Scholarship Fund which will give out is two-millionth dollar in scholarships in 2015. For more information about GSBA, visit .