BOSTON — Some of the nation’s top companies such as Google, CBS, Starbucks and Nike have joined forces in a legal brief asking a federal court to force the federal government to recognize gay “marriage.”

The friend-of-the-court brief asks the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a 2010 lower court ruling that struck down part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. In that ruling, Judge Joseph L. Tauro said the federal government must recognize gay “marriages” from such states as Massachusetts, Vermont and the other four states where it’s legal.

In essence, the brief argues, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) forces the companies to discriminate and prevents their gay employees from receiving federal benefits that other married couples receive. The section of DOMA at issue defines, for federal purposes, marriage as between one man and one woman.

Also signing the Nov. 3 brief were Aetna, Levi, Microsoft, New Balance, Time Warner and Xerox as well as the cities of Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and New York City. All total, 70 businesses, cities, law firms and trade and professional firms signed the brief.

The First Circuit case is further along in the court system than the more high-profile Proposition 8 case out of California.

This article was written by Michael Foust for the Baptist Press; full article at BP

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