Google, Microsoft, Starbucks Say DOMA Hurts Business

Now this a new angle on the gay marriage debate. According to The Advocate, last Thursday top companies like Google, Microsoft, and Starbucks filed a brief legally documenting their opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the law "forces" them to waste time and resources. Apparently discrimination doesn't make sense or cents:

The companies say DOMA "forces" them "to investigate the gender of the spouses of our lawfully married employees and then to single out those employees with a same-sex spouse." For example, HIPPA laws usually consider marriage a "qualifying event" that automatically enrolls a spouse in an employee's health insurance. Companies now spend time and money weeding out any gay employees who get married.

If companies don't want to discriminate, because it hurts their recruiting efforts or they're just opposed to it in principle, then DOMA causes a bunch of "workarounds" that come with wasteful administrative costs of their own.

Companies complain that when a same-sex couple legally marries, it requires them "to maintain two sets of books." That's because the couple is considered married under state law but not married under federal law. "The double entries ripple through human resources, payroll, and benefits administration," they write.

Some of the companies have had to pay consultants to jury-rig systems used to track benefits and taxes so they can accommodate the double records. "These dual regimes have spawned an industry of costly compliance specialists," they complain.

The brief said the law is especially hard on small businesses, who often don't have the money to hire consultants, which in turn may cause them not to hire qualified employees who have a same-sex spouse.

Read the full article, as well as a complete list of companies that signed the brief, HERE.