General Motors Co. is among more than 200 corporations that joined a new legal brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal civil rights law bans job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a separate filing, former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Schwartz and Michigan GOP operative Greg McNeilly signed onto a brief with more than 30 high-profile Republicans, telling the court that the "plain language" of the law protects against discrimination toward gay or transgender workers.

Both briefs include a Michigan case to be argued this fall before the justices involving R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, which fired an employee in 2013 after she announced she was transitioning from male to female.  

The funeral home, which asked the high court to hear the case, has argued that an appeals court ruling that sided with the transgender employee, Aimee Stephens, last year "threatens freedom of conscience." 

The businesses' brief, announced Tuesday by a coalition of five LGBTQ rights groups, is being submitted to the Supreme Court this week ahead of oral arguments before the justices on Oct. 8 on three cases that may determine whether gays, lesbians and transgender people are protected from discrimination by existing federal civil rights laws.

Among the other 206 corporations endorsing the brief were Amazon, American Airlines, Bank of America, Ben & Jerry’s, Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Starbucks, Viacom, the Walt Disney Co. and Xerox. Two major league baseball teams, the San Francisco Giants and the Tampa Bay Rays, were included.

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