Wall Street pushes SCOTUS on gay marriage

New York (CNN)Wall Street's leading banks have signed a "friend of the court" brief pressing the Supreme Court to back same-sex marriage.

Major financial firms including AIG, Bank of America, BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs JPMorgan, UBS and Wells Fargo signed the brief that will be filed on Thursday.
Spokespeople at each of the companies confirmed to CNN that they are named in the brief. Other signatories include a range of small and large companies in a variety of sectors including technology, healthcare and retail.
"The brief argues that the existing confused legal landscape places significant burdens on employers and their employees—making it increasingly hard to conduct business," said Elliott Frieder, a spokesman for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the law firm that will file the brief on behalf of the firms.
    The case, Obergefell v. Hodges, centers around the question of whether states are required to recognize the marriage laws of other states. It originated in Ohio, where same-sex couple James Obergefell and John Arthur argued that the state discriminates against couples that were married out-of-state. They were married in Maryland.
    Arthur, fighting a terminal disease, sought to have his long-term partner Obergefell named as his spouse on his death certificate and ran into complications because the state of Ohio does not recognize same-state marriage.
    An amicus brief is a way for individuals and groups not party to a legal case to lobby the court to make a certain ruling.
    This marks at least the second time in as many years that Wall Street and the business community at large has publicly voiced its opinion in such a coordinated way in a Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage.
    Leading up to the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, around 200 companies signed onto an amicus brief advocating for the high court to overturn DOMA. Several banks named in the amicus brief to be filed this week, including Bank of America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, had not signed the amicus brief in the DOMA case in 2013.
    The total number of firms that signed the brief for the Obergefell v. Hodges case is "significantly more" than in the DOMA case, with financial firms making up a significant chunk of the supporters, according to Todd Sears, founder of Out Leadership.
    Out Leadership and other advocacy groups like OPEN Finance, Freedom to Marry and Human Rights Campaign, were involved in gathering signatures for the amicus brief this week.
    "Doing good for the LGBT community is a business imperative and does actually impact the bottom line," said Todd Sears, founder of Out Leadership. "Markets are rational and discrimination like this is irrational. It was never a really hard push to get these Wall Street firms to support this."