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Monday, June 29, 2015

Supreme Court slices Wall Street some wedding cake

The U.S. Supreme Court has sliced Wall Street a piece of wedding cake. The landmark ruling on Friday approving gay marriage gives even banks reason to celebrate. Employee benefits for same-sex spouses will be far cheaper and easier to bestow, enabling stronger competition for top talent with more progressive Silicon Valley.

The justices ruled 5-4 that the constitutional right to be treated equally allows gay couples to tie the knot. The 13 states that banned the practice must now change their laws to conform to the rest of the nation.

That patchwork of conflicting rules has been an administrative nightmare for employers, especially for U.S. financial institutions. Tax laws, for example, often required same-sex couples to be treated differently from opposite-sex ones. Health coverage and other benefits might qualify as income to the spouse of a gay employee in one state but not in another. Keeping track of what forms to file for which workers could alone drive bookkeepers to distraction.

Complying with the rules was more than just a nuisance. Fairness compelled many companies to reimburse married gay workers for taxes and other expenses that straight spouses didn’t have to pay. Those amounts, and the cost of calculating them, could add up.

The top court’s decision does away with most of those problems, allowing employers to offer more generous benefits across the board. That should come in handy for banks and other financial firms trying to compete for the best employees.

A lot of those workers now tend to flock to the cradle of technology innovation in northern California, where lucrative perks and a tradition of gay rights are powerful draws. Wall Street, by contrast, has struggled with a reputation for machismo, of the sort depicted in the 1987 Oliver Stone film starring Charlie Sheen, as well as widespread complaints of homophobic work environments.



Unknown said...

this country has definitely gone to HELL the constitution,written for the benefit of this country and its citizens has been torn apart by justices who were appointed to keep this country strong by their perverse opinions and decisions they have divided this country instead of making it stronger our religious beliefs and love of our country is the reason we have persevered for this long we are now the laughingstock of the world thanks to all of the unhealthy decisions that judges and crooked politicians have hande down to the working american people the last straw was the gay pride colors shining on the WHITE HOUSE it goes to show you how much respect our commander-in-chief has for his position and the fate of this country GOD BLESS AMERICA

Anonymous said...

Can you think of a Wall Street movie that doesn't depict the Street as macho and cavalier?

Anonymous said...

Does this now legitimize bigamy and polygamy since those forms of marriage make a minority group 'happy' ?

Anonymous said...

1:13 No