Saturday, January 12, 2008

Op-Ed in Baltimore Gay Life: Calculating the Value of My Marriage

Calculating the Value of My Marriage
by Julie R. Enszer

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law released a research study at the end of November 2007 that said that the state budget in Maryland would see a benefit of approximately $3.2 million annually if the state were to recognize marriages of gay and lesbian couples. While I support civil recognition of gay and lesbian marriages, such economic analyses lack persuasive power.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot at stake economically in marriage equality for gay and lesbian people. Within a household, the ability to transfer property to a partner can be hampered by the economic penalty that gay and lesbian couples face in comparison to heterosexual couples. The additional taxes paid by gay and lesbian couples, who utilize domestic partner benefits, are significant in a household economy. The unfair penalty to gay and lesbian couples in death as a result of estate taxes is wrong. Individuals have an economic stake in the unfair exclusion of gay and lesbian couples from marriage and are right to speak about it.

Read the rest here.

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