The ‘Legalize Gay Marriage Because It’s Good for the Economy’ Argument

Not only is denying gay couples the right to marry a clear form of discrimination, it’s also bad for the economy. Married people are healthier, San Francisco city economist Edmund Egan testified yesterday at Perry, which means healthcare costs would be lower if more of the population were allowed to marry. There’d also be, the thinking goes, fewer people on welfare and food stamps, and . And to make it all worse, there’d be more wedding ceremonies and payroll taxes from more gainfully employed gays, which means California’s coffers would get all clogged up with additional tax revenue, which is sooo doesn’t need!

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  • schlukitz

    Well now. We can’t have gays doing something “good” for society, can we?

    I mean, do we want to make a liar out of Maggot and her ilk? You know, the crunt that insists that we are trying to destroy the institution of marriage and bring about the collapse of our civilization? *sarcasm font on*

  • Greg Ever

    I would think this is a very good argument to use in this particular trial, as Judge Walker apparently believes in a legal theory that uses the principles of economics in the practice of law. According to Wikipedia, it “includes the use of economic concepts to explain the effects of laws, to assess which legal rules are economically efficient, and to predict which legal rules will be promulgated.” So, you’d think that if they can prove same-sex marriage can be economically beneficial for the people and the state, he would be more likely to make a ruling in favor of it.

  • Robert, NYC

    Greg, I’ve been making that point here in New York State. Not one politician in Albany raised that issue during the legislative vote. Our state is in dire straits financially. In May 2009, city comptroller, William B. Thompson, issued a report stating that if same-sex marriage were legalized in our state, it would stand to gain approximately $207 million in the course of three years. When the eight conservative democrats voted against our equality last December 2009, they also voted to harm the state economy, jobs and businesses that would have benefited from the thousands of weddings that would have taken place in our state. In fact, they voted against the people of the state, supporters and opponents alike. Now the bulk if not all of that money will be lost to Connectict and elsewhere. This should be high on the agenda when marriage equality legislation rolls around again.

  • Steve

    This isn’t about political junk. The testimony at the trial is structured to reach certain specified requirements. Olsen and Boies are specifically addressing each item in a list of requirements that are stated in the precedents.

    A large part of the trial is shooting down each alleged “rational reason” that has been asserted the defense. They have to shoot them all down, one at a time. If the miss even one, and if the court finds that the “rational reason” test is the appropriate test, then it could allow Prop 8 to be upheld

    In particular, the defense in the Prop 8 trial has asserted in briefs that the cost to the government is a “rational reason” to prohibit equal marriage for gay people. Olsen and Boies are just showing that the alleged “rational reason” is not true, and in fact that continuing the prohibition will cost more than ending it. If the court makes a finding of fact that equal marriage will not cost the government money, then that alleged cost cannot be used as a rational reason for the prohibition.

  • Robert, NYC

    Steve, #4….”In particular, the defense in the Prop 8 trial has asserted in briefs that the cost to the government is a “rational reason” to prohibit equal marriage for gay people.”

    If that is the rationale to deny marriage equality, and to me its nothing more than a canard, then by the same rational reasoning, in order to save on costs, straight couples intending to marry would also have to be subject to the same ban, if things are so fiscally dire. Why would allowing hundreds of thousands more straight couples to marry not add to the “costs”? That is what needs to be addressed to illustrate the aburdity of the “reason” to deny us marriage.

  • Steve

    @Robert, NYC:
    Of course it’s a canard. But they still have to shoot it down.

    A “rational reason” doesn’t really have to be rational. It just has to be asserted by the defense. If the plaintiff failed to prove that “gay marriage would cost the government money” was not true, the judge would have to accept the assertion of the defense and rule in favor of the defense.

    There is a whole list of things that the defense has asserted as rational reasons in this case. Each one must be proved false if the plaintiff wants to win under the rational reason test. Olson and Boies are just going through the list.

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