Viacom is proud of our diverse and inclusive global workforce that reflects the rich character of our audiences, our partners and our employees. We diligently work towards enhancing our own policies that encourage diversity and equality, and believe that we have a role to play in supporting important efforts to expand these values across the country and around the world.
This month, Viacom joined a broad group in signing onto an amicus (or friend of the court) brief challenging a federal law called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a legal union only between a man and a woman. The brief, filed in the case of Golinski v. Office of Personnel Management in the United States of Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was signed by a number of other companies, non-profit organizations, labor groups and the cities of Boston, Cambridge, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Seattle, and West Hollywood.
The amicus brief states that although “[o]ur enterprises are located in or operate in states that recognize certain marriages of our employees and colleagues to same-sex spouses,” . . . DOMA “precludes federal recognition of these marriages.” This dual regime, we argue, “forces us to discriminate against a class of our lawfully-married employees, upon whose welfare and morale our own success in part depends.” Further, “[i]n the modern workplace, the employer becomes the face of DOMA’s discriminatory treatment, and is placed in the role of intrusive inquisitor, imputer of taxable income, withholder of benefits.”
Consistent with the great value that Viacom places on diversity and inclusion, Viacom and the other friends of the court are asking the court to treat as married anyone who is lawfully married under state law and therefore strike down DOMA as unconstitutional.
Viacom is strongly committed to taking a stand on this issue, and we look forward to a ruling that will provide equal rights to everyone with same-sex spouses.
Daniel Mandil is Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Litigation for Viacom.