The Financial Argument for Gay Marriage
Gay marriage has been a topic of discussion for many years. While the decision to allow gay couples the right to wed is a question of equality, there is also a strong financial argument for its legalization.
The Economic Benefits of Marriage
Marriage is an economic institution, and it brings forth numerous benefits for individuals and society as a whole. For starters, married couples can pool their resources together, which can help them achieve financial stability and reduce their living expenses. This can be especially helpful for gay couples who may have been living apart and paying more for individual living expenses.
Furthermore, marriage provides a legal framework for the distribution of assets in the event of a divorce or death of a spouse. This can help prevent financial abuse and protect the rights of both parties in the marriage.
Marriage also comes with significant tax benefits. Couples who are married can file their taxes jointly, which often results in a lower tax bill than if they were filing as individuals. This can save gay couples significant amounts of money, and it is an argument that advocates of gay marriage have frequently used.
Many governments are already reaping the benefits of tax revenue from same-sex marriage. In states where gay marriage is legal, there has been a surge in economic activity, and more people are now willing to invest in the state due to the apparent openness of the state to its citizens.
Cost Savings for Society
Society as a whole can also benefit from the legalization of gay marriage. When gay couples marry, they can become dependents of each other for things such as medical insurance and other social services. This limits the burden of the costs of these services on society, which can help provide financial relief for all taxpayers.
Moreover, the legalization of gay marriage will benefit the economy by reducing the amount of money spent on legal issues such as inheritance, divorce, and custody battles. This can help reduce the backlog of cases that clog up the court system, resulting in higher efficiency and less waiting time.
In conclusion, the legalization of gay marriage will not only be a moral victory, but it will also have financial benefits that reverberate throughout the economy. Governments at all levels should take note of these benefits and take measures to legalize gay marriage. It is not just a matter of fairness and equality, but a question of economic good sense.
With several key November wins in Maine, Maryland and Washington State, advocates for gay marriage have been achieving a lot of national success lately. Feeding on this momentum, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota and Rhode Island are looking to recognize equality for the LGBT community.
Arguments for legalizing gay marriage typically center on justice, but there’s a financial claim to be made for marriage equality. Consider, for instance, the state of Illinois, where dozens of businesses have publicly declared support for the legalization of gay marriage.
In a public letter, signed by business leaders from Groupon, GOOGLE, Hyatt Hotels, Orbitz Worldwide, Navistar International, Morningstar and Excelon among others, key executives stated that to be competitive, Illinois must create equitable and respectful environments for all of its citizens.
The letter makes the case that supporting marriage equality helps businesses attract a wide range of employees, which, in turn, helps companies better connect with a more diversified consumer base. The letter also cited financial numbers that supported the idea of legalizing gay marriage. The letter stated: “According to the UCLA School of Law’s William Institute, allowing same-sex couples to marry would generate between $39 million and $72 million in revenue for Illinois businesses, creating $4.5 million to $8 million in new sales and lodging tax revenues over three years.”
Several companies, such as Macy’s and J.C. Penny, aren’t waiting for lawmakers to pass gay marriage laws. These retail giants have featured same-sex couples in advertisements, while other businesses, such as Nike, Amazon.com, Starbucks and Microsoft, have donated money or issued support statements to marriage advocacy groups.
American companies are catching-on the financial advantages of legalizing gay marriage, as noted by the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which measures the nation’s largest company’s on their equal opportunity policies, organizational LGBT competency, employee benefits and public commitment to corporate citizenship. This index only gave 13 companies top marks in its first survey in 2002—a far cry from the 189 companies receiving top marks in last year’s survey.
As support continues to grow, widespread legalization of gay marriage seems inevitable in the United States. Public opinion polls reflect this growth in support: recent studies by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute reported a 10 percent gain in support in Illinois in just the past two years. Furthermore, a USA Today poll taken in November shows national support at 53 percent, which is up 13 percentage points from 2009.