Today, President Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act, which will codify federal marriage equality into law for same-sex and interracial couples in the U.S. This legislation will provide millions of families with the assurance that regardless of what legal challenges to marriage equality may emerge in the future, the federal government will recognize their marriage and the dignity, rights and protections therein.
Levi Strauss & Co. is proud to have played a role on the long road to arrive here. More than 20 years ago, we became the first Fortune 500 company to extend health benefits to employees’ unmarried domestic partners, and the only California business in 2007 to file an amicus brief with the California Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage. While these policies were not popular at the time, equality and nondiscrimination are core to our values, and we recognized early the responsibility we have to help advance change on equal rights.
Today’s win was made possible by the tireless organizing of some of our longstanding corporate partners and grantees, including Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Stonewall Community Foundation, Harvey Milk Foundation, Outright Action International and America Competes. LS&Co. has been proud to support and engage alongside these leading organizations in the fight for LGBTQIA+ equality both in Congress and states across the U.S.
While today calls for celebration, the fight for equality is far from over. It is more important than ever for companies like ours to standup for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people and minority groups who see continuing levels of violence and threats both in policy and in practice. Wherever possible, we will always make our voice heard on this issue and maintain support for our partners on the frontlines seeking to make a change.