Just one year ago this week, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges struck down state laws upholding marriage between one man and one woman and effectively undermined the single most important social unit in our nation. As states, businesses, and individuals have grappled with the aftermath, it is important to remember the organizations and corporations that played a principal role in unraveling the definition of marriage.
The liberal Human Rights Campaign was a key instigator in several legal battles preceding, and leading to, the Court’s review of Obergefell. Not only was HRC involved in developing a grassroots movement to politicize the marriage debate, but the activist organization aggressively recruited support and dollars from major corporations to help push its agenda. A detailed resource of the companies that have sponsored HRC and advocated for the redefinition of marriage can be found here.
Not surprisingly, the outcome of the Obergefell ruling was not HRC’s endgame as cities, states, and small business owners are now targets of a continuing movement that appears to be set on eliminating religious liberty protections embodied by the 1st Amendment. A year ago, stories of cake bakers, florists, and even calligraphy artists coming under fire for adhering to religious convictions on marriage were cause for concern. However, we have seen HRC pivot to new political battles that have erupted in places like Houston, Georgia, and North Carolina over RFRA laws and so-called “bathroom bills”.
While the scope of many of these laws varies depending on the locale, the real consequence is that the elimination of religious liberty protections could open individuals and business owners to coercion to participate in activities that go against their faith.
For more on where corporations have stood on the marriage issue, and to see which companies have helped fund HRC’s agenda, see 2ndVote’s scorepage here.