The New York State Senate has narrowly passed a bill legalizing same–sex marriage. It differs slightly from the version passed by the Assembly, and a reconciled version will be passed soon. The Senate version has stronger religious exemptions. Once a reconciled bill is passed, it will be signed into law and same–sex marriage will begin thirty days thereafter.
The passing of this milestone is excellent news. Throughout the history of this blog, I have covered the quest for marriage equality in New York on several occasions, even arguing with someone else at one time. It is glad to see that marriage equality will finally come to pass.
BTW, the sky still hasn’t fallen.
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.
Moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava has suspended her campaign in the special election to New York’s 23rd Congressional District, (h/t to AmericaBlog). Although I cannot predict who will win the election in this GOP-leaning district and what the winner will act like, rest assured that if some appeals to, and is pandering to, teabaggers, it is pretty likely that they will act like and have the same positions as a teabagger. I think this is bad news because when the teabaggers take over, compromise is crushed.
Extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are bad because it is difficult to get them to compromise. Compromise is good because it prevents the foolish excesses of both the left and right. I know, it’s frustrating to not always get what you want, but while ideologies create the ideas and initiatives, it is moderates who actually put them into practice, regardless of which side they are from. Extremists are unable to do that. Consider the case of California, where due to gerrymandering, incumbents on both sides have a 99% reelection rate. If elections are not competitive, there is no need for candidates to hold moderate positions and attract the votes of centrists, and hence nearly everyone in the California Legislature is an extremist. What does that bring? Budget crises because no one is willing to cooperate instead of compete.
Scozzafava would probably have been a reasonable conservative. She was pro-choice and supported marriage equality. She would have been a necessary “Let’s go slow” counterweight to left-wingers. But her withdrawal, that will not happen. Instead, the wingnuts and teabaggers will likely be energized and will try to take down the remaining GOP moderates.
And that is another step on a dangerous downward spiral.
Update: Look at all the wingnuts who supported Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party’s candidate: Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Concerned Women of America, James Dobson, Michele Bachman, the Eagle Forum; a who’s who of what’s wrong with the Republican Party. Yikes!
The National Organization for Marriage has released two new advertisements. You can watch one of them here.
Then, notice this still (my underlining):
Same same sex marraige? What's that?
You can watch NOM’s other ad here. Again, notice this still (my underlining):
Same same sex marriage? What's that?
Update: The NOM has removed the first ad (top still) from YouTube; last time I checked, the second one was still working.
Update 2: The NOM has also yanked the second ad (bottom still) from YouTube. Must have been too embarrassing to show the world that bigots don’t know grammar and can’t spell.
Scientists have just announced that they have discovered that about 2300 years ago, New York City was flooded by a tsunami.
The march to marriage equality goes on.
Hat tip to City of Ladies.