Local, national companies file against Amendment 3

Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-05 12:38:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Some of the biggest corporations in the country and well-known Utah businesses are throwing their support behind the Amendment Three fight.

The deadline to file amicus briefs with the court was midnight Wednesday and dozens got the paperwork in. Among the Utah businesses that filed amicus briefs are Xmission and Tony Caputo's.

"There's an impression about Utah's culture that can sometimes send people away," said Pete Ashdown, president and founder of Xmission. and CEO Patrick Byrne spent more than $10,000 to fund an amicus brief representing 46 companies, which include big names like Facebook, eBay, Starbucks and Google.

Their argument for filing is Utah's ban on same-sex marriage hurts their ability to attract talented employees.

"Overstock is a rainbow-friendly workplace and we're proud of it," said Stormy Simon, co-president at

In the 50 page brief, the companies state:

"Equality for LGBT employees matters to heterosexual employees as well...The mandate in Utah, Oklahoma, and other states requires that we single out colleagues with same-sex partners and treat them as a separate and unequal class as compared to employees with heterosexual partners when dealing with state marital benefits...This mandate upsets our business philosophy and prevents our companies from reaching our full economic potential because it dissuades those employees from living and working in the jurisdictions where we do, or want to do, business."

The 46 employers are among the long list of organizations who also filed amicus briefs. From Alliance for a Better Utah to the ACLU, Equality Utah and the Pride Center, their argument is the law hurts the integrity of the family, which the state disagrees.

The state’s opinion is that same-sex marriages hurt children.

As part of the filing from Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center it states:

"The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives."

Some of the briefs include statements from children raised by LGBT parents.

"I'm not sure it's a fight about gay marriage as much as it is about equality," Simon said. "We have to remember women as we sit here today. There was a time we would not be able to vote. There was a time when African Americans drank from different water fountains. This is a time that gay people are discriminated against, and it's really important we change the times."

There were 16 amicus briefs filed in support of the plaintiffs in the Amendment 3 case.

Click here to read more from FOX 13's Ben Winslow.