In the ongoing debate over Gay Marriage, the argument is usually based in battle between “morality” and “equality.” Let’s add some economics to the equation.
The NY Times has a story in today’s edition that examines the highÂ cost gay couples face compared with straight couples based on day to day livingÂ From the story:
“Our goal was to create a hypothetical gay couple whose situation would be similar to a heterosexual coupleâ€™s. So we gave the couple two children and assumed that one partner would stay home for five years to take care of them. We also considered the taxes in the three states that have the highest estimated gay populations â€” New York, California and Florida. We gave our couple an income of $140,000, which is about the average income in those three states for unmarried same-sex partners who are college-educated, 30 to 40 years old and raising children under the age of 18.
Here is what we came up with. In our worst case, the coupleâ€™s lifetime cost of being gay was $467,562. But the number fell to $41,196 in the best case for a couple with significantly better health insurance, plus lower taxes and other costs.
(more after the jump)
These numbers will vary, depending on a coupleâ€™s income and circumstance. Gay couples earning, say, $80,000, could have health insurance costs similar to our hypothetical higher-earning couple, but they might well owe more in income taxes than their heterosexual counterparts. For wealthy couples with a lot of assets, on the other hand, the cost of being gay could easily spiral into the millions.
Nearly all the extra costs that gay couples face would be erased if the federal government legalized same-sex marriage. One exception is the cost of having biological children, but we felt it was appropriate to include this given our goal of outlining every cost gay couples incur that heterosexual couples may not.”
Imagine if you will that we replace the word “gay” with the word “Latino” or “Asian” or “Irish” or “Catholic.”Â What sort of moral outrage mightÂ emerge?