Gay Primary Source

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Target Files Pro-Same-Sex Marriage Amicus Brief at 7th Circuit

“At Target, we are committed to creating an environment where team members and guests feel welcome, valued and respected.”
"If you’ve been a fan or follower of Target for some time, you’ve likely heard us say those words. You may have heard us talk about our long-standing commitment to inclusivity and diversity. Those aren’t just words. They are how we conduct ourselves - as a business and as a team. And as a part of that belief, we continually evaluate where we are as a company to ensure we are taking steps that balance doing what is right for our business, guests and for our team.

It is in that same spirit that, this week, Target joined several other national companies to sign on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality. The brief is currently pending in the Seventh Circuit.

As our leadership team discussed signing on, we took time to consider the bigger questions at hand. This brief is important, as the issues it addresses have significant impact on businesses. But it is more than that and we agreed that now is the right time to more directly share our views on this issue.

It is our belief that everyone should be treated equally under the law, and that includes rights we believe individuals should have related to marriage.

Without getting into the specifics of a court case, this brief evaluates the issues created by states that both prohibit same-sex marriage and also refuse to recognize marriages that were conducted legally in other states. This position is particularly challenging for a large organization that operates nationally, such as Target. At Target, we have long offered comprehensive, competitive benefits to our LGBT team members and their families, often above what is legally required. We continue to do so today because we believe doing so is right for our team and for our business. But current laws - in places like Wisconsin and Indiana that are addressed in this brief – make it difficult to attract and retain talent. These disparate laws also create confusing and complicated benefits challenges across multiple states.

We believe that everyone - all of our team members and our guests - deserve to be treated equally. And at Target we are proud to support the LGBT community.

Jodee Kozlak, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Target Corporation, August 5, 2014.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Appeals Court Upholds Virginia Same-Sex Marriage Decision

... “For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that the Virginia Marriage Laws violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the extent that they prevent same-sex couples from marrying and prohibit Virginia from recognizing same-sex couples’ lawful out-of-state marriages. We therefore affirm the district court’s grant of the Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and its decision to enjoin enforcement of the Virginia Marriage Laws.

We recognize that same-sex marriage makes some people deeply uncomfortable. However, inertia and apprehension are not legitimate bases for denying same-sex couples due process and equal protection of the laws. Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.

Judge Henry F. Floyd, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, July 28, 2014.

     click here to read entire decision