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Tech companies tell Supreme Court: We support same-sex marriage

Technology firms like Facebook and eBay are heavily represented among corporations and cities filing briefs supporting same-sex marriage in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court is expected to take up same-sex marriage in March, and the business community has something to say about it. Yesterday, more than 200 employers signed onto a "friend of the court" brief making the business case for marriage equality. Today lawyers are expected to file a similar brief.

If you scan down the list of companies signing on to the documents, one industry stands out: Tech -- big deal tech, like Apple, Facebook and eBay.

So, why do it?

“I think it’s a mix of idealism and pragmatism,” says Stanford law professor Jane Schacter. Idealism, she says, in that a lot of these companies support marriage equality, plain and simple. And, says Schacter, “I think on the pragmatic side, they’ve made the calculation that for a number of reasons this is actually good for their business.”

One reason, companies in states like California -- that don’t allow same sex marriage -- are at risk of losing employees to states that do.

But it’s also a reflection of how much things have changed culturally.

“Opinion has shifted enough in the last couple of years that they are more worried alienating people by not taking a position than they are by taking a position,” says Harvard professor Michael Klarman.

But whether or not it matters to the court, we’ll have to wait and see.  

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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