Do you know someone who identifies as homosexual?
In 2018, it is very likely that someone you’ve encountered has a partner of the same sex. Maybe even some of your friends identify as LGBTQ+. The problem is that many people find gay marriage to be an issue; whether that be ethical, just personal preference, or maybe you don’t know how you feel. However, what many people don’t think about, is the economic benefits of gay marriage.
To see the benefits, you must strip away your moral preferences and look at the facts. Without the stigma, what's the issue anyway? For example, a benefit of same-sex marriage is that it can bring large amounts of revenue to every level of government: local, state, and federal.
“In 2012, the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) found that in the first five years after Massachusetts legalized gay marriage in 2004, same-sex wedding expenditures (such as venue rental, wedding cakes, etc.) added $111 million to the state's economy” (Dickler).
Weddings are expensive. Who knew?! No matter how you choose to identify, who wouldn’t want a nice wedding? The pricey day can help boost the economy in a local level, which transfers to state and so on and so forth.
Another benefit of gay marriage is that it supports insurance. Furthermore, it means that there are fewer people walking (or driving around) without insurance.
“Marriage can make a big difference for same-sex couples’ financial well-being. A few years ago, two New York Times reporters calculated that even ordinary same-sex couples could lose as much as $500,000 over a lifetime because they can’t marry and therefore can’t get employers’ spousal health insurance, among other disadvantages. As a result, people in same-sex couples are much more likely to be uninsured than people in different-sex couples. And if the uninsured avoid preventive care or get care they can’t pay for, they wind up costing us all” (PBS).
Imagine if someone hit you and you had to go to the hospital. That hospital bill could easily end up totaling thousands of dollars. But you’re stuck. They have no insurance. You must pay it out of pocket or dip into your own insurance. And why don’t they have insurance? It isn’t a matter of price, but maybe they can’t get on their spouse’s insurance.
Would you not accept help for your medical bills simply based on their sexual preference? This is a problem that affects everyone.
“Marriage also helps couples make economic decisions that create both private and social benefits, like investing for retirement, and looking after each other’s health” (PBS).
The third and final reason that gay marriage helps the economy, is that it creates a boom in employment. Unemployment is a big problem in our economy today. Gay marriage drives the unemployment rate down because of their appeal to big businesses.
“There are fiscal benefits just scratch the surface of what our economy might have to gain. Big corporations want same-sex couples to be allowed to marry because they believe gay marriage is good for business. Hundreds of employers large and small, including Google, Apple, Verizon, Walt Disney, Viacom, Nike, Morgan Stanley, and Microsoft, signed onto two friend-of-the-court briefs related to this week’s Supreme Court arguments over challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8(PBS).
Those employers argued that they want to recruit and retain the most creative and productive workers to make their businesses competitive, and that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers. They want their LGBT employees to be able to focus on their jobs, not on dealing with the stigma and inequality that creates problems for their families” (PBS).
Employers want their companies to be diverse. Not only does it make the workers feel safer in the environment, but it makes the company look very appealing to potential clients.
Maintaining a well-rounded environment and a diverse group of employees does more than boost unemployment. It drives innovation and creative thinking. Having an open-minded community in your workplace can do wonders for a business; financially and spiritually. The best businesspeople can be straight, LGBTQ+, or however they choose to identify.
So, what happens if you choose to ignore them? Many people feel they have a moral obligation to reject LGBTQ+ candidates as friends, coworkers, employees, and more. They blame it on religion or “how they were raised,” or they may even just think that because everyone else around them does. Being gay isn’t evil. It’s not a sin.
Loving someone is never wrong. It’s 2018, and this should not be a problem. Love is universal, and marriage is a civil right.
If you continue to strip away the religious reasons and the “moral” reasoning, there isn’t a logically sound argument against gay marriage, other than "you don't like it." Employers are supposed to make decisions without bias or without discrimination. It still happens, sure. But if employers would actually follow this code of conduct, then we would have less unemployment, and furthermore would stimulate the economy.
So, what can you do about it? Go to this link and sign the petition. LGBT people are victims of many things, but they shouldn’t be victims of an economy that they can actually help. As an employee, as a friend, as a person, you can support them. As an employer, you can hire them. Put away the stigma. If they deserve the job or your friendship, then give it to them.
Gay marriage is essential to the economy for far more reasons than mentioned here. But there are ways you can help. Sign the petition. Educate yourself on why same-sex marriage helps the economy. Gay marriage boosts the economy in tax revenues, cuts down the unemployment rate, and promotes insurance. There is no logical explanation as to why gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed or considered for anything less than what it is: an essential part of the economy.
Jessica Dickler, "The Gay Marriage Windfall," money.cnn.com, May 10, 2012