Freedom To Marry

The gay and non-gay partnership working to win marriage equality nationwide

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Economics & Business

Macy's Ad Supports Marriage Equality

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Excluding same-sex couples and their families from marriage not only causes economic hardship for families, but also negatively impacts businesses.

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Use the key resources below to learn more about how marriage discrimination negatively impacts businesses and the economy while also causing economic injustice for families.

 


 

FROM EVAN WOLFSON:

Taxing Our Patience
Evan Wolfson
April 7, 2008
As the tax deadline approaches, Evan Wolfson discusses how marriage discrimination causes unfair taxes for families across the country and offers examples of such discrimination. 

For Richer, For Poorer: Same-Sex Couples and the Freedom to Marry as a Civil Right
Drum Major Institute for Public Policy
June 2, 2003

Evan Wolfson discusses the life-altering consequences of denying same-sex couples the economic safety net that comes with marriage.

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WHERE YOU CAN GO TO GET INVOLVED OR LEARN MORE:

The Williams Institute
The Institute supports legal scholarship, legal research, policy analysis, and education regarding legal issues that affect lesbian and gay people with numerous reports on the economic impact of ending discrimination in marriage.

Key Life Planning Topics from Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal has compiled a guide titled Key Life Planning Topics for gay and lesbian couples discussing how to deal with the inequalities created by exclusion from marriage, detailing such economic issues as mortgages, wills, retirement planning, estate taxes, healthcare, and childcare.

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders' (GLAD) Marriage Info and Resources
GLAD discusses the complicated process of Navigating Income Taxes for Married Same-Sex Couples and how to deal with Taxes on Employment Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses, each exemplifying the economic inequalities created by excluding same-sex couples from marriage.

Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) WorkPlace Project
HRC's WorkPlace Project contains reports on businesses' policies concerning benefits for gay and lesbian employees and their partners, and how ending discrimination in marriage is not just personal, but good for business.

Freedom to Marry's Tax Time Campaign
Learn about the economic challenges that face gay and lesbian couples around tax time from our 2007 Tax Time Campaign website.

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THE NUMBERS: POLLING & STATISTICS:

Excluding same-sex couples hurts families financially. Across the United States, more than 39% of same-sex couples aged 22-55 are raising children-as many as several million, experts estimate. Additionally, same-sex parents have almost $12,000 less in average household income than different-sex parents (pdf).

Corporations realize family recognition is good for business. As of February 2009, the Human Rights Campaign reported a majority (57%) of the Fortune 500 corporationsprovide domestic partner health insurance benefits to their employees.

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PUBLICATIONS:

Denied the freedom to marry, same-sex couple’s "lifetime cost of being gay" can rise to as much as $467,562
New York Times
October 2009

An analysis of all the extra health, legal and other costs same-sex couples bear because they can't marry— a couple’s lifetime cost of being gay can reach as high as $467,562.

For Richer, For Poorer (pdf)
Freedom to Marry
Marriage inequality affects all same-sex couples regardless of sex, race, religion, ethnicity, or physical ability.   As with most injustices, the effects of marriage discrimination fall particularly hard on those living on the margins: the poor, the less educated, immigrants, children, the elderly, the ill, and those otherwise most vulnerable.

Tax Implications for Same-Sex Couples
Williams Institute
April 2009

This fact sheet outlines some of the ways in which same-sex couples are treated unequally by the federal government. Topics discussed include: taxation of health insurance benefits, lack of protection from estate taxes, no options in filing income taxes, the lack of social security survivor or spousal benefits, and the lack of visibility in the census.

The effect of marriage equality and domestic partnership on business and the economy (pdf)
The Williams Institute
October 9, 2006

This report discusses how employer policies that treat employees with same-sex partners or spouses equally would improve the health and well-being of their families, which results in gains for both the employee and his or her family as well as to the employer.

The Economics of Equal Marriage Fact Sheet (pdf)
National Organization of Women (NOW)
NOW lists the specifics of how ending discrimination in marriage is a social justice issue.

Congressional budget report: A positive impact if same-sex marriages are recognized
U.S. House of Representatives
June 22, 2004

Bottom line: Allowing same-sex couples to marry would be good for the economy, with a net impact on federal budget savings of almost $1 billion per year.

Marriage Makes Cents: How law & economics justifies same-sex marriage
Book Review of The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Law by Ryan Nishimoto Andrew Koppelman's book The Gay Rights Question in Contemporary American Lawpresents the legal and moral case for gay equality. This Book Review examines how law and economics removes the debate to a pragmatic theater, compelling recognition of same-sex marriage.

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NEWS:

Browse through news stories about the economic impact of marriage and why marriage matters to businesses.

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For Richer, For Poorer: Same-Sex Couples and the Freedom to Marry as a Civil Right

Drum Major Institute for Public Policy
June 2, 2003

Evan Wolfson discusses the life-altering consequences of denying same-sex couples the economic safety net that comes with marriage.

For Richer, For Poorer

Why the freedom to marry is a matter of economic justice
Marriage inequality affects all same-sex couples regardless of sex, race, religion, ethnicity, or physical ability.  As with most injustices, the effects of marriage discrimination fall particularly hard on those living on the margins: the poor, the less educated, immigrants, children, the elderly, the ill, and those otherwise most vulnerable.

Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) WorkPlace Project

HRC's WorkPlace Project contains reports on businesses' policies concerning benefits for gay and lesbian employees and their partners, and how ending discrimination in marriage is not just personal, but good for business.

The effect of marriage equality and domestic partnership on business and the economy

The Williams Institute
October 9, 2006

This report discusses (pdf) how employer policies that treat employees with same-sex partners or spouses equally would improve the health and well-being of their families, which results in gains for both the employee and his or her family as well as to the employer.