Electronic Arts has officially joined the coalition of businesses standing in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, the company announced on Wednesday via its official website:
Electronic Arts has joined with dozens of leading US employers in signing an amicus brief that opposes the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and urges the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to find portions of the Act unconstitutional.
DOMA presents a number of problems for businesses like EA, as it creates regulatory, tax, and discrimination complications for employers, and that's why we're standing against it. The underlying lawsuit impacts all employers no matter how big or small, and no matter the industry, and we encourage other business to join these efforts.
The Defense of Marriage Act, which federally defines marriage in the United States as being between a man and a woman, barring gay couples from insurance, Social Security, and tax benefits, was signed into law in 1996 under President Bill Clinton, who has since changed his views and has argued for its repeal.
While I applaud Electronic Arts' public support of the cause, I do find it curious that EA cites business practices as its main reasoning for opposing the law, and fails to mention sexual orientation, LGBT employees or any direct references to sexuality once in their statement. Also we mustn't forget EA's history of reported overworked employees; they're hardly the Mother Theresa of game companies.
But as they say, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Or in this case, don't look a gift ally...in...the mouth. Allies are allies, and in the gaming industry they were once few and far between. Their reasoning may be primarily business-driven, but having a pillar of the gaming industry on our side is progress nonetheless.
And it's not as though EA has remained silent on LGBT issues in the past: The Sims franchise was one of the first to include same-sex content in gaming, and with BioWare EA has published the gay friendly Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic franchises. Last year the company joined the It Gets Better Project, as well: