NIKE, Starbucks, Columbia Sportswear and more urge marriage equality in Oregon

36 employers in Oregon filed a legal brief with the US District Court earlier this week urging the court to end the state's ban on marriage equality. Nike, Northwest Natural, Columbia Sportswear, Standard Insurance Company, and PGE are among those, all based in Oregon, who filed the amicus brief.

The employers' brief stresses the negative effects of ant-LGBT discriminatory policies on the state's economy. The represented groups, it reads, "involuntarily become the face of discrimination based on sexual orientation when they are forced to administer benefits differently for employees with a same-sex spouse in order to comply with Oregon law (e.g., income tax law). That imposes additional confusion, costs, and administrative burdens, which further harm Oregon businesses and their employees…We respectfully urge the Court to join the growing number of courts that have struck down an unconstitutional laws like Oregon's marriage exclusion so that Oregon no longer discriminates against individuals based on sexual orientation."

In a statement on behalf of the coalition of employers, NIKE, Inc., Executive Vice President and General Counsel Hilary Krane said, "To attract and retain the best talent, we believe we need laws that promote diversity and inclusion, that treat all Oregonians equally and that prevent discrimination."

Fellow members of the coalition are Autodesk; Celilo Group Media, Inc.; Christopher David Experience Design; EDJE Consulting; Gard Communications; Gerding Edlen; HM3 Energy, Inc.; Intel Corporation; Jubitz Family Foundation; Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.; Medord Fabrication; Moda Health; Morel Ink; Neil Kelly Company; Northwest Evaluation Association; Oregon Business Association; Oregon Health & Science University; Oregon State University; PECI; Portland General Electric Company; Portland Public Schools; Portland State University; Portland Timbers; Powell's Books; Russell Development Company;, Inc.; Standard Insurance Company; Starbucks Coffee Company; Portland Business Alliance; Tonkon Torp; Torpet LLC; University of Orgeon; and Weinstein PR.

Oral arguments will be presented in court later this month.