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A rainbow flag flies in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo: Molly Riley/AFP/Getty Images

More than 200 large businesses, including most of the big technology companies, are calling on the Supreme Court to find that existing laws against sex discrimination cover LGBTQ workers.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court is set to take up that question in a trio of cases it is expected to hear in its next session.

Details:

  • Companies signing the "friend of the court" brief include Adobe, Amazon, Apple, Comcast NBCUniversal, Dropbox, eBay, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intuit, Lyft, Microsoft, Mozilla, Pintrest, Salesforce and Uber.
  • In all, the companies represent more than 7 million employees and generate $5 trillion in annual revenue.
  • The legal brief argues that LGBTQ non-discrimination policies benefit businesses and the broader economy.

What they're saying:

  • Jay Brown, senior VP, HRC Foundation: "These employers know first-hand that protecting the LGBTQ community is both good for business and the right thing to do. With so much progress on the line, we are grateful that so many major American companies are standing up for the rights and dignity of their LGBTQ employees, family members and customers."
  • Lambda Legal senior attorney Omar Gonzalez-Pagan: "When employees can safely bring their whole selves to the workplace, they do better work and that leads to success."
  • Todd Sears, CEO Out Leadership: "We're thrilled to see so many of our nation's most innovative and profitable businesses coming together to say that LGBT+ Americans are, and should continue to be, protected from discrimination."

Go deeper

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

2 hours ago - World

Australian PM pledges $700M for climate change-threatened Great Barrier reef

A green sea turtle is flourishing among the corals at Lady Elliot island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday a AU$1 billion ($703 million) investment plan for the Great Barrier Reef.

Why it matters: The nine-year plan for projects including water quality improvement, reef conservation and supporting some 64,000 tourism jobs comes months ahead of this year's federal election. It has been criticized by scientists and environmental groups for failing to tackle climate change.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.