Disney, Comcast NBCUni, Apple and Sony Back Respect for Marriage Act

The industry players are among 173 companies that signed a letter to senators supporting a federal law to protect same-sex marriage

The Respect for Marriage Act has been endorsed by 173 major businesses, including Disney, Comcast NBCUniversal, Apple and Sony, ahead of the Senate vote on the bill.

The Human Rights Campaign was behind the effort, which secured signatures on an open letter that will be delivered to every U.S. senator to encourage voting in favor of legislation that the House passed in a vote of 267-157.

“Fairness, equal treatment, and opportunity are central to our corporate values because we care about our employees and the customers we serve,” the letter reads. “Americans from all walks of life, across demographics, geographies, and party lines agree that loving, committed couples have the right to be respected and protected under the law.”

Authors add, “[This bill] will help to ensure marriage equality, eliminate confusion for employers and enable us to retain and attract talent. No person, including same-sex couples and interracial couples protected by this bill, should fear their marriage will not be recognized by the federal government or their employment benefits threatened.”

Interim President Joni Madison thanked the businesses who joined the organization in taking a stand for LGBTQ+ equality on behalf of their employees and customers.

“For the first time in our nation’s history, we are so close to codifying marriage equality as the law of our land—so close to ensuring that every family will have the freedom to love whom they love,” Madison said. “But the fight isn’t over yet; this victory is far from guaranteed; now we must come and demand that the Respect for Marriage Act is passed and signed into law.”

The bill, which 47 House Republicans voted in favor of, is a response to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas declaring in his Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health decision that the right to same-sex marriage is open to reconsideration by the court.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer introduced the legislation earlier this month, stating:

“LGBTQ Americans and those in interracial marriages deserve to have certainty that they will continue to have their right to equal marriage recognized, no matter where they live, should the Court act on Justice Thomas’ draconian suggestion that the 2013 United States v. Windsor and 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges rulings be reconsidered or if it were to overturn Loving v. Virginia.”

The Respect for Marriage Act would nationally codify federal marriage equality by guaranteeing the federal rights, benefits, and obligations of marriages in the federal code; repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings are recognized by all states.

HRC, which is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, announced the letter the same day over 400 television writers and producers sent studios a letter of their own demanding an “abortion safety plan” for employees.

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