Economy enters same-sex marriage debate
Posted on March 7, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
The nation’s economic crisis is now playing a role in the debate over same-sex marriage.
Supporters of same-sex marriage point to its economic benefits, both for those getting married and for states that sanction it. Opponents, however, say same-sex nuptials will actually “devalue” the institution and cost society more in the long run.
In Minnesota, the issue has even split two openly gay lawmakers, and for the purposes of this story, the two men agreed to sit down together for a joint interview.
Minnesota state Sen. Scott Dibble is one of those lawmakers. Dibble, a Democrat, is proposing one of two marriage-equality bills in the state Senate and says now is as good a time as any to propose gay marriage legislation because there is also an economic aspect to the debate. Legally married couples, he says, are generally in better financial shape overall.
“We’re in a time of economic crisis, and it’s difficult for everyone,” Dibble says, “more difficult for those families that don’t have access to those basic provisions for economic security.”
He says examples include the joint ownership of property; joint credit; the ability to share health-care benefits with a partner; and inheritance rights.
“People are beginning to understand that the rights and benefits and responsibilities and economic relationships that couples have with each other as a result of marriage or marriage-type laws are really basic to our ability to be able to provide for each other,” he adds.
“It’s really coming to light in context of this economic difficulty that we’re in the midst of.”
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