Several entertainment industry giants, including Disney, Sony, Comcast NBCUniversal and Apple, have signed an open letter led by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) expressing support for codifying LGBTQ+ marriage rights into law. Other signatories include Amazon and Google.
The letter – signed by 173 companies – urges the Senate to pass the Respect for Marriage Act (officially known as HR 8404 in the House and S. 4556 in the Senate) which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DOMA). DOMA defines marriage, for federal purposes, as the union of one man and one woman, and provides states with the ability to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages enacted under the law in other states.
The HRC’s efforts to garner support for the proposed new bill follow concerns – legitimized by suggestions made in Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the Dobbs case – that the Supreme Court, after overturning Roe v. Wade, will then return his attention to reversing other progressive decisions, such as United States v. Windsor (2013), which invalidated much of DOMA and how it could be applied.
As The – notes, Disney’s heavy-handedness behind calls to protect LGBTQ+ rights is notable following prolonged criticism of the media company’s response, or rather lack thereof, to the ‘Don’t’ Bill. t Say Gay” from Florida earlier this year. Not only did the company make donations to representatives who supported and passed the bill, but it also initially made no public statement about the impact the bill might have in the state that is home to the Walt. Disney World Resort. As such, it is one of the first major public stances the company has taken in support of LGBTQ+ rights since employee walkouts, complaints filed and social media calls from prominent figures. famous that followed in March.
The letter states: “The codification of a consistent and inclusive federal standard conferred by the Loving, Windsor and Obergefell decisions will help ensure marriage equality, eliminate confusion for employers and enable us to retain and attract talents. No one, including same-sex couples and interracial couples protected by this bill, should worry that their marriage will not be recognized by the federal government or that their employment benefits will be threatened.
You can read the full letter and see the full list of signatories here.