Utne Blogs > Politics

Pragmatic Arguments for Same-Sex Marriage

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Politics, same-sex marriage, marriage, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy,

Gay Pride AmericanPutting aside moral arguments for or against, same-sex marriage could make the United States a stronger country internationally. Same-sex marriages would be an economic boon to the United States, according to an article from the Christian Science Monitor. State governments could issue more marriage licenses, collect more income taxes, and pay less in health care costs if same-sex marriage were legalized. The article cites studies showing that Massachusetts has added some $37 million to its coffers, and Maine could save $7.3 million on health care costs alone through same-sex marriage.

Critics, including GOP Chairman Michael Steele, have argued that same-sex marriage would actually drive up health care costs by creating more dependents. That would add only 1 or 2 percent to companies health care costs, according to research cited by the Christian Science Monitor, and could be offset because “marriage – whether gay or heterosexual – provides a safety net for spouses,” making more people ineligible for state benefits.

Gay-friendly laws also would allow the United States to attract more of the brightest minds in the world, Stephen M. Walt writes for Foreign Policy. Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation actually restricts the talent pool of immigrants who might otherwise become productive members of a society. Walt writes:

All else equal, societies that establish strong norms and institutions that protect individual rights and freedoms (including those governing sexual preference, I might add) will become attractive destinations for a wider array of potential citizens than societies that try to maintain a high degree of uniformity. And when you can choose from a bigger talent pool, over time you're going to do better.

Maybe that’s the storm that these people are worried about:

A Gaythering Storm from Jane Lynch

Image by dbking, licensed under Creative Commons.

Sources: Christian Science MonitorForeign Policy