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Apple among 60 major companies backing gay marriage

updated 07:58 pm EST, Tue February 26, 2013

Corporate amicus curae brief filed with Supreme Court

Apple is joining with at least 60 other large corporations in submitting a filing to the Supreme Court in support of extending marriage rights to gay people and against California's Proposition 8, continuing the iPhone maker's long record of supporting equal rights for homosexual couples. Other "friend of the court" filings are coming from diverse sources, including one that includes over 75 well-known Republican leaders -- including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, among others.

The filing is specifically related to a case before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8, which passed with narrow public support to end legal gay marriage in the state of California. Opponents argue that despite the voter outcome, the proposition was fundamentally unconstitutional in that it denied some citizens equal protection under the law, where no local or state ordinance can undermine that precept. That point is also the underlying argument of a second case that will be heard by the court as well, targeting the Defense of Marriage Act. The second case has a much larger group of corporate and government amicus curae filings, numbering over 200 at present.

Other tech or tech-related companies supporting Apple in the anti-Prop 8 case include Ebay, Nike, Oracle, Office Depot, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Xerox, Zynga, Intel and Facebook. Apple publicly opposed Proposition 8 in a rare political stance when it was originally proposed, even donating $100,000 to an anti-8 campaign -- and has long supported equal benefits for its employees regardless of sexual orientation. The companies say in the briefs that workplace morale and recruiting are harmed in states that don't explicitly allow marriage equality. Currently, nine states support the right of gay couples to be married in civil ceremonies identical to heterosexual marriages.

The cases are not just about the right of gays to get married to same-sex partners -- there are myriad tax breaks and benefits given to married couples (and even common-law "married" heterosexual couples) that are not extended to gay couples, and homosexuals continue to face legal discrimination in housing, adoption, job opportunities and many other areas of life that would appear to support the community's contention that their constitutional rights are being systematically violated by both federal and local governments. Former Bush Solicitor General Theodore Olsen and former Senate Judiciary lead counsel David Boies -- who famously opposed each other in the 2000 presidential election Supreme Court fight -- have teamed up to oppose Proposition 8 in various cases leading to this Supreme Court hearing.

After an initial obligation to defend the Defense of Marriage law in court, the Obama administration and Justice Department have filed briefs supporting its dismissal. The President himself entered office willing to consider "civil unions" for gays but was against marriage equality. Over time, he has clearly changed his mind on the issue -- saying that time and encounters with committed gay couples (ranging from White House employees to parents of his children's friends) led him to overcome "generational" thinking and more fully support equality for same-sex marriage.

Opening arguments for the two separate cases are scheduled to begin on March 26 and 27. The Proposition 8 case has the formal name of Hollingsworth v. Perry, while the Defense of Marriage challenge is know as United States v. Windsor.




By Electronista Staff
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  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    [1] On the one hand... right on.

    [2] On the other hand... well... the CEO. (I can see all the PC Trolls using "fruit company" references.)

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    What's the real problem?

    All of us are born with our own talents, gifts and dispositions. It is our differences that make us strong. I am a heterosexual male and find I have no interest in "guy on guy". But, why should my personal preference carry any more weight or influence than anyone else?

    Proposition 8 seems to me no more than a knee-jerk reaction by closed minded people unwilling to journey outside of their "safe zone". At the expense of others.

    I'd love to hear a rational explanation as to why people (homophobes) find this threatening. Are homosexuals typically Terrorists? Are they typically god-less heathens? Are they typically child molesters?

    Why do the majority of Californians find homosexuals threatening?

    Please post.

    ap

  1. bojangles

    Senior User

    Joined: 05-11-00

    Looking beyond the mark

    This is a classic case of ignoring the issue. The article uses several meaningless terms that Liberals like to toss around to make everyone feel good, but they only obfuscate the issues at hand. There are two questions here: first, whether the definition of a word—marriage—should be changed; and second, whether the people of a given state may use the democratic process to maintain or overrule that definition. It's that simple.

    People keep using the term "gay marriage," which is ridiculous. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Just open any dictionary written before about Y2K—including legal dictionaries—and even most dictionaries today. Ergo, "gay marriage" is an oxymoron. If you want to talk about garriage, homarriage, homorriage, homorrhage, or whatever term and spelling you prefer, that's fine. If you want to legalize it, that's also your right. The problem is this whole attitude "we don't like the definition of a word, so we're going to change it." If it's legal to do that, then isn't every law immediate rendered useless, because anyone can just redefine the terms therein?

    The second term is "marriage equality." Again, this is a joke. I am not aware of anywhere—and please correct me, if I'm wrong—where a self-described homosexual (whatever that means to you) cannot get married. The only catch is that in most places in the USA, you can't just take an extramarital union, call it a "marriage," and have the state accept it as such.

    I have no problem with people making their own decisions, even if said decisions are ones that I personally would prefer they not make. If this were not the case, I'd be a very lonely man, drowning in a pool of self-hatred. But when we decide that we can legalize our actions simply by calling them something completely different that's already legal, that's where legality suddenly gives way to very literal anarchy.

    My 2¢.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Well...

    I still like their products despite their support for perversion.

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-14-10

    Mixed Feelings

    I believe that every human being deserves the same right as the next. However, it seems silly and very out of place for COMPANIES to take a societal stand. It seems like a very bad move to me, because you're guaranteed to alienate your customers. I judge Tim Cook as inferior to Steve Jobs not because he is a homosexual, but because his leadership skills are lackluster, he makes poor socioeconomic decisions (alienating customers), and the quality of Apple's products has undeniably decreased since the transition. It doesn't feel the same. But in general terms, companies above all should remain COMPLETELY neutral. They have no place in politics or societal decision-making. The decision is up to the individual. I do not support homosexuality in that I find it to be a wrong choice. Yes, choice. But EVERY human being deserves the same rights as the next. No exceptions. I don't believe in extra benefits or the abuse of "homophobes." The abuse is double-sided, and quite frankly, those who don't actively support homosexuals are more abused than the homosexuals themselves! I wonder when society will realize this and reverse its stance entirely... But that's off topic. The point is, Apple made a huge mistake.

  1. chas_m

    MacNN Staff

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Originally Posted by bojanglesView Post

    People keep using the term "gay marriage," which is ridiculous. Marriage is the union of a man and a woman.



    No, your definition of marriage is the ridiculous one. In your own bible, marriage is defined as a business deal that can involve multiple women (I'm using the term "women" here loosely; "pre-pubescent girls" is more accurate) and their slaves, sisters and others. It is patently untrue that "marriage" is defined as one man and one woman.

    Ergo, "gay marriage" is an oxymoron.

    Ergo, no it isn't. It might be more accurate to call it "same-sex marriage" by dint of establishing that we're talking about homosexual couples, since "gay" once meant happy/frivolous/joyful, but "marriage" in the context of this discussion is a legal term signifying a certain kind of relationship status -- and thus like all other legal terms, its definition can be reinterpreted and changed as circumstances require.

    The problem is this whole attitude "we don't like the definition of a word, so we're going to change it."

    See above example as just one illustration of how wrong you are. English (and other in-use languages) are constantly evolving; remember back when "bad" was an expression of "good"? How flummoxed you must be by lingo such as "amazeballs" and "bromance!" :)

    If it's legal to do that, then isn't every law immediate rendered useless, because anyone can just redefine the terms therein?

    Do you really not understand that when people say "gay marriage" they are just clarifying a particular version of the ceremony and not actually advocating that marriage between same-sex couples be called "gay marriage?" In particular, they want it to just be called "marriage."

    And yes, to what I am sure is your shock and amazement, language is invented by people and thus can be changed by people. You may want to sit down for this next bit: dictionaries put at annual *revised* editions, despite your apparent belief that language is permanent and unchanging! The horror!!

    I am not aware of anywhere—and please correct me, if I'm wrong—where a self-described homosexual (whatever that means to you) cannot get married.

    You are wrong. Thank you for the opportunity to correct you. As it says in the article, 41 states do not allow gay people to get married.

    For a guy who thinks definitions are written in stone, you appear to also believe that marriage is just a ceremony with no real meaning, thus your statement that gay people can get "pretend married" with a non-binding party and that's "marriage." I think I can speak on behalf of gays on this one when I say that your definition of "marriage" seems to be pretty flexible but not so much so that two people who are in love -- but happen to be the same sex -- can do it. OTOH, you presumably don't have an issue with a man marrying and divorcing multiple women or vice versa. I suppose you don't see how patently ridiculous your position is either. :brick:

    But when we decide that we can legalize our actions simply by calling them something completely different that's already legal, that's where legality suddenly gives way to very literal evolution and enlightenment.

    There, fixed that for you. How about you go and have a ponder on the legal actions that "redefined" marriage to allow black and white people, Jews and non-Jews, and first cousins to marry? Or the "redefinition" of other concepts, like "slavedriver" -- means something a little different than it did 150 years ago, doesn't it?

    Nobody is saying that by calling the union of same-sex couples "marriage" we redefine marriage, because we redefine it all the time. What they are saying is that the civil and legal concept of "marriage" denies some people equal rights and protections under the law (along with MANY special privileges only extended to married people, making them a "special class") and that's wrong.

    What a pity you don't get that.

  1. trevj

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-05-99

    re: chas_m

    Incredibly well written response, Chas! Not sure I've read a more reasoned, level-headed or better explained response — anywhere.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    I don't see why a corporation should venture into politics or try to drive public opinion unless Apple is also trying to boost its homosexual customer-base. Why don't companies also come out against animal abuse, spousal abuse, drugs, violence, child labor, sweat shops, etc.? Why just same sex marriage?

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Why shouldn't they be free to?

    They're a private company made up of individuals who apparently share values that they feel are important enough to throw the weight of their public presence behind.

    They've pretty openly used their clout to publicize and improve working conditions in their contractors' factories in China (remember that the public wouldn't even be AWARE of conditions if APPLE hadn't investigated and published their initial reports).
    They have a direct connection to that, so it made sense to support.

    Is there any public campaign or upcoming vote or controversial law regarding animal abuse, spousal abuse, drugs, violence, child labor, or sweat shops that publicly opposing or supporting could change official policy on? Are you aware of any law FAVORING child labor or spousal abuse? If you find one, you may start a campaign and suggest it to Apple for support.

    Also, I really, REALLY doubt that Apple needs to "boost its homosexual customer-base". Maybe they're actively trying to ALIENATE their homophobic reactionary asshole customer-base, for fear of their products being associated with them?

    It's bad enough that Rush Limbaugh is still (reluctantly) an Apple user…

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Why shouldn't they be free to?
    ...

    Maybe they're actively trying to ALIENATE their homophobic reactionary asshole customer-base, for fear of their products being associated with them



    Apple is free to, but if I were a shareholder I'd prefer Apple spend their time innovating, advertising, etc. People who oppose same sex marriage aren't necessarily "homophobes" they simply don't approve of same-sex marriage. Some are homophobes, some are Christians, and others have their reasons whatever they are.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Originally Posted by DaJoNelView Post

    I do not support homosexuality in that I find it to be a wrong choice. Yes, choice.



    Homosexuals cannot "choose" to be attracted to the opposite sex anymore than a heterosexual can "choose" to be attracted to the same sex. It's not a switch you can mentally flip one way or the other on-demand.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by cgcView Post

    Apple is free to, but if I were a shareholder I'd prefer Apple spend their time innovating, advertising, etc. People who oppose same sex marriage aren't necessarily "homophobes" they simply don't approve of same-sex marriage. Some are homophobes, some are Christians, and others have their reasons whatever they are.



    And some people don't like blacks, or Christians, or Chinese, or women.

    They all have their reasons.

    And Apple really doesn't (and shouldn't) give a shit.

    Having their PR department draw up a press release in support of something doesn't really tie up too many company resources. Go back to shouting at your tv.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    ...

    Having their PR department draw up a press release in support of something doesn't really tie up too many company resources. Go back to shouting at your tv.



    For the record, I don't watch Fox News or yell at my TV. I personally don't care who people want to marry but I don't like athletes, musicians, actors, corporations, etc. using their celebrity talk about things outside of their field or to lobby for political action. I should have expected the angry mob to surround me wielding torches and pitchforks but I have no intentions or arguing against same-sex marriage, just I don't think what Apple did was necessary or appropriate.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    That's fine.

    They seem to disagree.

  1. Atheist

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 09-15-06

    Originally Posted by cgcView Post

    For the record, I don't watch Fox News or yell at my TV. I personally don't care who people want to marry but I don't like athletes, musicians, actors, corporations, etc. using their celebrity talk about things outside of their field or to lobby for political action. I should have expected the angry mob to surround me wielding torches and pitchforks but I have no intentions or arguing against same-sex marriage, just I don't think what Apple did was necessary or appropriate.



    You're argument makes no sense. Are you an expert in gay marriage? Is it in your "field"? If not, then with your logic, YOU shouldn't have an opinion!

    Regardless of their celebrity, athletes, musicians, actors, corporations (yes, they are people thanks to Citizens United) are all individuals and have just as much right as you do to have and express an opinion. I'm thankful celebrities/corporations express themselves publicly. And I'm glad Apple has made a stand.

    I can't wait to see what a different world it will be in just a few years. How silly it will have all seemed to have these arguments over same-sex marriage.

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by AtheistView Post

    You're argument makes no sense. Are you an expert in gay marriage? Is it in your "field"? If not, then with your logic, YOU shouldn't have an opinion!

    Regardless of their celebrity, athletes, musicians, actors, corporations (yes, they are people thanks to Citizens United) are all individuals and have just as much right as you do to have and express an opinion. I'm thankful celebrities/corporations express themselves publicly. And I'm glad Apple has made a stand.

    I can't wait to see what a different world it will be in just a few years. How silly it will have all seemed to have these arguments over same-sex marriage.



    Of course I am just as unqualified as the actors, athletes, and corporations I despise but the primary difference between what I dislike and what I do is that I am not getting attention for my music, athleticism, iPhones, etc. then using that attention to push another agenda.

    This isn't an issue of same-sex marriage to me, it's an issue of famous entities and/or people using their celebrity to push their beliefs onto the masses.

    BTW, I predict this country will be worse off in a decade because we have no common ground to pull us together. America has always been great because we melded various ethnicities, cultures, and religions into one group and called ourselves "Americans". Now we're being divided up and pitted against each other by various entities.

  1. abbaZaba

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 06-14-06

    Innovation does not have to be limited to a company's product line

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by cgcView Post

    Of course I am just as unqualified as the actors, athletes, and corporations I despise but the primary difference between what I dislike and what I do is that I am not getting attention for my music, athleticism, iPhones, etc. then using that attention to push another agenda.

    This isn't an issue of same-sex marriage to me, it's an issue of famous entities and/or people using their celebrity to push their beliefs onto the masses.

    BTW, I predict this country will be worse off in a decade because we have no common ground to pull us together. America has always been great because we melded various ethnicities, cultures, and religions into one group and called ourselves "Americans". Now we're being divided up and pitted against each other by various entities.



    Indeed you are. The American people just want to live in peace and freedom, in all their multi-faceted diversity. Shame on the goddamn hippies for forcing their beliefs upon the masses. If interracial marriage had been intended by the Founding Fathers, they would have written it into the constitution, along the lines of "all Americans being created equal" or some such.

    Shame on people whose experience leads them to believe that they recognize inequality and injustice where others are blind, and seek to educate others so that the divisions that pit Americans against each other may be eradicated.

    Shame on companies who have spent 35 years hiring and tolerating openly gay people, and are now in fact RUN by openly gay CEO, for believing that they are qualified to judge what is unjust and needs to be corrected in the interest of the American people, and for using their public attention to change things for the better.

    Or maybe, shame on people whose ignorance makes them believe that nobody else could possibly have more of a ****ing clue than they do.

    "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"
    —Isaac Asimov in Newsweek (21 January 1980)

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    It must be nice to know all the answers Spheric Harlot and please take my example and apply it in the most extremist manner. I simply said I don't want people using their celebrity to push an agenda. How difficult is that for you to comprehend? All I get in response is anger...I should not be thew target for asking for less lobbying? It seems the pro same-sex marriage group is looking for anyone who they deem might be in any way opposing them and they attack. Let me make this clear, I am opposed to the lobbying, I don't give a crap who marries who.

    It's much easier to attack a person than to address an issue/topic.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Do you have an issue with O'Reilly on TV using his celebrity to OPPOSE gay marriage?

    If not, why not?

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Do you have an issue with O'Reilly on TV using his celebrity to OPPOSE gay marriage?

    If not, why not?



    Yes, but I don't watch O'Reilly and an unaware what he says about same-sex marriage. No matter what I believe personally, celebrities should not use their influence to lobby for what they feel is important. They can go to blogs and talk (like we are) but they shouldn't do it on whatever made them famous (e.g. TV, radio, movies, etc.).

    We're arguing but we're not too far apart, you have no problem with what Apple did and I do...let's leave it as it seems neither will budge. Same-sex marriage isn't really an issue to me (my step-brother is married to a guy and they're just as loved as myself and my other brother who are married to women).

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Ah, now I understand where you're coming from.

    I apologize for mis-construing your viewpoint in my mind. It's an easy knee-jerk to make: Generally, people only seem to disapprove of celebrities using their visibility to further political causes when they disagree with their stance.
    I'm sorry.

    I think that you see society as a sort of unchanging mass that is being purposely split over certain issues.
    The latter part is true: Partisan politicians have an an agenda based around POWER, not around benefits to society. Nowhere can this contrast be seen more clearly than in the initial impetus after Obama's election, and the immediate reaction by Republicans to simply block every single move, regardless of whether it might have been a good one, to immediately begin the fight to re-gain power and make Obama look weak.

    My opinion is that society constantly needs to move forward, and overcome inequalities and issues. Politicians are OUR elected officials, and if they are to change things for the better, they need to be aware that the people think these issues are important. That requires, first and foremost, that the electorate even becomes AWARE of issues, and starts caring about them.
    This is where publicity comes in.

    As for celebrities using their publicity to further their cause: Saying they shouldn't seems like a very narrow view of things. A great number of the most highly-regarded movies and records would not even exist if they hadn't been political statements. Pretty much all of American music would not exist (or at least, certainly not nearly in its current forms and popularity), in fact, if its creators hadn't infused it with overt or subversive political/social statements. James Brown ("Say It Loud: I'm Black and I'm Proud") probably saved a couple of lives by agreeing to televise his Boston concert live in 1968, a day after the murder of Dr. King, when nation-wide riots were due to go down. Precisely BECAUSE he was a political figure, as an artist. People were urged to stay home and watch, and it worked.
    James Brown calms Boston following the King assassination — History.com This Day in History — 4/5/1968

    Much of Pink Floyd's catalogue wouldn't exist. Dylan wouldn't. Woodie Guthrie wouldn't. Apocalypse Now. And a whole bunch of stuff that people have completely forgotten used to be *intensely* political and controversial.
    O'Reilly is only well-known BECAUSE he makes such insane political arguments. I would never have heard of him otherwise. He has a TV show explicitly dedicated to political arguments. Does that make him more or less qualified to argue gay rights than a company that has been dealing with them for 35 years (it's been reported that the lack of equal rights, among other things, make it extremely difficult for Apple to provide equal-benefit health insurance for all their employees AND spouses)?

    Where do you draw the line? At TV interviews where artists/celebrities are asked about their views? At rallies that every other non-celebrity is equally free to endorse/attend?

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