Inconsistent Marriage Laws Pose Significant Burdens on Employers and Employees
Milwaukee, WI – The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce has signed on as a signatory to a brief filed today by Morgan Lewis in the US Supreme Court. The organization is joining with hundreds of other businesses and 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 amicus curiae brief was filed in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, and urges the US Supreme Court to affirm a uniform principle that all couples share in the right to marry.
The brief argues that the existing, confused legal landscape places significant burdens on employers and their employees—making it increasingly hard to conduct business. In addition to the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber, other signatories 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.
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber, as well as other employers across the nation, shares a desire to attract and retain a talented workforce. As the brief points out, today most Americans live in jurisdictions where same-sex marriages are recognized. However, the laws of many states continue to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, and decline to recognize the valid existing marriages of citizens married to a spouse of the same sex, making it difficult for businesses to thrive. In coordination with our fellow signatories, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber presents empirical evidence showing the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the detrimental effect of the absence of a single uniform law in this area.
“The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber was proud to sign on this brief with the United States Supreme Court,” said Jason Rae, executive director of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “Diversity and inclusion in the workplace is key to growing our state’s economy. We’ve heard from our business members that the current patchwork of inconsistent state marriage laws makes it harder and more costly for them to recruit and retain talented employees, and to administer benefits systems. Quite simply, this burdens businesses by costing them both time and money. We are hopeful that the United States Supreme Court will side with the business community in this case.”
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and LGBT-allied businesses, corporations and professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin. It offers networking opportunities, business development efforts within the LGBT community and educational programming to its members. The organization has more than 275 members from around the state.