What is a fiscal conservative? Ask several people and you may get different answers, but for the purposes of this post I will define one as someone who: (1) supports low taxes and tax cuts; (2) supports “pro–business” government policies; and (3) supports deregulation and a reduction in red tape. It is a complete fantasy to think that those three things are always the correct course of action. However, since most Republicans support those economic policies, I will grant for the sake of argument that they are the way to go.
Opposition to same–sex marriage goes directly against fiscally conservative principles. Here’s why:
Same–sex marriage is good for the economy. In New York, legalization would bring in $210 million dollars for the state’s economy (cite). Marriage equality in Iowa will boost its wedding and tourism industries by at least $160 million in the first three years (cite). In Vermont, 700 jobs will be created and the tourism and wedding industries will be boosted by at least $30 million dollars (cite). These economic effects will be happening in the middle of a recession, when the economy needs boosting and unemployment is high. There is no way to be pro–business and while at the same time being pro–marriage inequality.
The costs of being a same–sex couple are really high. Using a hypothetical “average” lesbian couple, an analysis estimated that the lifetime cost of being an unrecognized same–sex couple range from $41,196 to $467,562 (cite). By having their marriage recognized, the couple could save all this money. Wouldn’t allowing them to save that much money be the economic equivalent of giving them a tax cut? And if tax cuts always stimulate the economy, then legalizing same–sex marriage will stimulate the economy. One cannot coherently believe that tax cuts stimulate the economy while at the same time refusing to give one to same–sex couples. In addition, by not having to search for workarounds to get some of the rights different–sex couples, it will decrease the amount of red tape.
There is one possible objection to my second point. The objection argues that LGBT people are really a tiny, over–affluent minority who don’t “need” tax cut. Unfortunately for this objection, the idea of “gay affluence” is a myth (cite, cite). And even if it is not, this objection fails. Remember trickle–down economics. If a tax cut for rich different–sex couples or rich single persons causes beneficial impacts due to trickle–down effects, the exact same thing would happen with same sex couples.
For these reasons, fiscal conservatives should support marriage equality. Opposition to it is deeply compromised and goes against their core principles.