RNC chairman says that gay marriage is bad for economy

Kieth Olbermann responds to RNC chairman Michael Steele's statement that gay marriage harms the economy by creating a new class of beneficiary spouses by pointing out that gay marriage would likely create more than $16 billion in economic activity for weddings, which benefit local stationers, photographers, bakers, hoteliers, etc. etc. etc.

Keith Olbermann's WTF!?!: RNC's Michael Steele & Gay Marriage (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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  1. So, sound conservative, small-government fiscally responsible government policy would basically say anyone can enter a marriage contract who wants to.

  2. Why should anyone care what gay marriage does to the economy? What bearing does that have on whether or not homosexual people should be allowed to marry?

    Also, this MSNBC presenter is really annoying.

  3. Why not end the inequality AND lower the number of beneficiaries by simply banning all forms of marriage? While we’re at it, end child support in favor of a child tax.

  4. Also irritating is Steele’s concept that sudden marriage for a gay couple would ‘begin the responsibilities,’ i.e. commitments, to one another. Is he really so dense as to think gay couples sit around unable to commit to one another in any capacity at all until the government gives the go ahead?

  5. People with children should not get tax relief. It’s unfair to the rest of us. Plus it hurts the economy.

  6. Hmm, yeah:

    Canada, which has legalized gay marriage all across the country, has tanked its economy. Its banks are insolvent, house prices are in the basement, bankruptcies are rampant, and government debt is at 4/5 of the annual GDP and rising.

    The US of A, which has – kicking and screaming – allowed gay marriage only in a handful of states, has an economy that taking the downturn well, banks are robust, housing prices are up, and unemployment is up a little (within normal variations), and government debt is 30% of the annual GDP.

    No, wait!

  7. 13Strong: Citizen, you are expressing dangerously non-State-sponsored thought. Report to your Omega Amigo station immediately.

  8. Ending slavery and granting female suffrage and ending bans on inter-racial marriages hurt the economy too? I guess sometimes civil rights are more important than the wallet.

  9. I weep for the Republican party. I hate single party rule. I like a strong minority or even split government. I really want a party standing there with their fingers turning white as they grip the purse book making the democrats fight tooth and nail before they give it up. I want Republicans to be there to kill off the more hair brained bills that the Democrats want to pass (the Employee “Free Choice” act comes to mind). Single party rule sucks.

    I have to say though, that at this point I am almost pretty much without hope for the Republican party. As a lefty libertarian, I look upon the Republican party with nothing but utter horror. There is nothing left of the intellectual Republican congress of the 90s that pulled together some surprising stellar ideas and got them signed by a democratic president because they were actually good ideas.

    Now, we have this horrible brain dead “thing” in place of what was once a Republican party. When there is serious straight faced talk of Sarah-fucking-brain-dead-Palin acting as a party leader, I weep. The conservatives pissed their fiscal principles out their ass for 8 years and utterly reneged on the promise to keep the evil democrats from doing more nation building. After pissing on even the pretext of fiscal responsibility and rightfully getting tossed from congress as they so rightly deserved, they managed to retain nothing other than the most brain dead bigoted section of the party supported by religious nuts who think the world is a few thousand years old. The Republicans are now the crazy religious party and nothing else. Oh please save me Republican party from homosexuals who want to enter into committed monogamous relationships! Civilization will clearly collapse if these people enter committed relationships with each other! Clearly, there is no other issue of higher priority!

    Bah.

    The Republicans are sad, sick, and pathetic. I loath a super majority, and I really dislike a lot of the programs that the democrats will try and push, but I would rather cross my fingers and hope that Obama continues to be sane and pragmatic with his super majority than see the pathetic crazy nut jobs that now make up the Republican party take control.

    Republican party, please, drop the brain dead Palins and Bushes, find a leader who is NOT a psychotic religious bigot, find someone who can string a fucking English sentence together better than the Mexican immigrants that the Repbulican party lives in terror of (ohhh no! The Mexicans are going to take my janitor job!), and toss someone front and center who has an intellect and maybe a couple of ideas that didn’t come from the bible.

    Republican party. You suck.

  10. Bah, don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    Seriously, however disgusting he seems, this politician is just doing his job: pandering to his demographic. That’s what policians do, it’s their job, like it or not (and the politicians you like are just those who are pandering to you).

    My point is, either this guy is hopelessly out of touch with his demographic (it happens), or there’s a demographic in the US which loves to hear this stuff. Considering the past history in the US, I think it’s the latter.

    It’s the demographic you have to change, the politicians will follow. But it’s harder to complain against a nebulous group of anonymous people. It also requires much more effort to change a mob than some politicians.

  11. The obvious logical extension of this claim is that heterosexual marriage is much worse for the economy, if only by sheer numbers. If so, then I’m glad we agree, Mr. Steele! Let’s end legal marriage entirely. Not that you couldn’t get “married,” of course. You can have a wedding and pledge your love and commitment to one another and you can call yourself husband and wife (or husband and husband, etc.) afterwards or whatever the hell you want, but it will have no legal significance. For current spousal priveleges, there’s always legal contracts.

    Problem solved?

  12. We can’t have interracial marriage, it creates a new class of beneficiaries and will harm the economy.

    What’s the difference between that and what the RNC chairman is saying, other than a couple of decades?

  13. Couldn’t you see him arguing the same thing about equal rights for women? Or as an argument for slavery? (Pay black people to pick cotton? That would cost small businesses MONEY!!!)

    And…if he’s so worried about health care costs to small businesses why isn’t he on board with national health care?????

    Dickhead.

  14. It’s a shame how unaware they are about the similarities between a regular marriage and a gay marriage; a couple of years down the road, and there will be golden opportunities for:
    * Relationship councilors
    * Divorce lawyers
    * Etc. etc.

    The economy will boom like never before.

  15. If you concede his point on increased cost of benefits, Mr. Steele’s argument is just as effective against straight marriage. The government should discourage all marriage as a way to decrease fringe costs to employers. There is a sound platform for the GOP.

    If anything, he seems to be making an argument for universal health care.

  16. @AceJohnny “this politician is just doing his job: pandering to his demographic“:

    Since I believe that policians should have a spine and not simply do whatever will get them votes… does that mean that the politicians who do this are simply doing what will get them my vote? Arg, brain hurts.

    That voters ask for something is not an excuse for it to be taken on by politicians. Voters can be stupid. A politician should listen when voters are saying intelligent things, and ignore them when they’re not. To do this he needs to be able to tell the difference. If he just does whatever people asks, he cannot tell the difference between good ideas and bad, and so shouldn’t be elected.

  17. His argument isn’t that gay marriage is bad for business, it’s that ANY marriage is bad for business.

    That’s right, the Republican Party: anti-marriage.

  18. We should eliminate Government-sanctioned “marriage” altogether, and replace it with “civil unions.” The concept of marriage varies widely across religions and cultures anyway, and it’s not the Government’s role to figure it out.

    I’m sure all the bigots don’t approve of most other religion’s marriage arrangements either, so why should they stop at banning gay marriage?

  19. The fact that the Republican party is still hitting the gay marriage issue button long after the last tincture of narcotic has been delivered shows that they are completely out of touch.

    I don’t like Keith Olberman’s style, largely because it reminds me too much of Bill O’Reilly and his various spawn. yet, I give him way more credit then most of the talking heads on cable news: he actually used numbers and facts to make a point, go figure.

  20. #5 Daniel:

    People with children should not get tax relief. It’s unfair to the rest of us. Plus it hurts the economy.

    What kind of planet do you live on where one of the fundamental resources of a society, people, is not encouraged to renew itself? Do you recognize the enormous benefit you receive from the renewing of human life in terms of innovation and development of technology, medicine, infrastructure, family, etc.?

    You act as if the boundary of your body is where you begin and end. Aware of it or not, you are sustained by the web of people, machines, and non-humans that are the Earth and the renewing of these entities is the bare fact of existence.

    You can argue the pressures new humans place on finite resources, but this is different than the argument that societies should not encourage people to reproduce.

    Disclaimer: I am not a parent nor do I intend on being one in the immediate future.

  21. People don’t seem to NEED any more encouragement to reproduce.

    Hey isn’t there a war on?

  22. my guess is that their goal isn’t to demonstrate how it would be a huge drain on resources. I think they want to show that “gay marriage will affect other people, despite what gay marriage proponents say.”

    Anyway, aren’t domestic partners recognised for the purposes of inheritance and the rest of it? I am not from the US.
    Actually this business of spouses being covered under for-profit health insurance just shows another reason why you need universal health care.

  23. @Felix Mitchell:

    Of course politicians are doing whatever will get them a vote! Just like people will do whatever gets them a quick buck. Of course, this also means that there ARE politicians out there who aren’t out there just for a quick vote.

    Your view is the ideal of a representative democracy like the US. I’m convinced that the current american political system is deeply corrupted (not as much as it used to: eech, how did US survive to now!).

    I believe that the system rewards spineless get-the-vote-quick politicians, precisely because voters are stupid! Most voters (me included…) don’t spend the time to research their candidate’s history and positions, so they’ll vote based on a few quick quotes and broad statements such as Steele has produced…

    So all the politician has to do is issue some nice quotable phrases like Steele does. Some people will love it, and vote for him.

  24. @mistersquid –

    I make enough money that I pay a Metric Buttload in taxes, and last year that came to about 30%. I am single. I have no children. I don’t own a car. I walk and bike everywhere. I don’t use government services. I’ve never had a school loan or a grant. I’m in my 30’s.

    I know families with kids (and their net income is 3 times what mine is, in the $2xxK range) and their tax burden is ~5% of their income.

    Personally I think people with kids should be taxed more – they use more resources, they cost the government more, and create a larger burden on society. Kids are great – I’m just sick of paying for losers that can’t afford to pay for all 15 kids they decide to have.

    Renewable resource? Please. I don’t think we’ll be running out of humans any time soon.

  25. @Rindan: While I support a lot of the democrats positions, policies and programs I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said.

    The best thing possible for any government is two (or more!) nearly equally powerful parties keeping each other in check.

  26. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again …

    If you do not have equality for all then how can you argue for any equality at all?

    Gays are 2nd class citizens, they are not allowed the same rights as others.
    So if people vote against gay marriage can they vote against say the ….emancipation declaration?

    Ok, so now all black people are property.

    People are either equal in the sight of the law or not, , you don’t get a little bit equal.

  27. I’m pretty sure you could get a majority vote declaring that republicans were no longer to be allowed to breed.

  28. arlopickens@14

    Now I see the light, and pooped myself! Same sex marriage leads to a Palin leadership, must stop this at all costs!!!

  29. “16 billion” means nothing to me without another number to compare it to. So, how much money would small businesses lose? Less? More?

  30. Look, I think KO would be among the first persons to say, publicly and loudly, that you don’t need economic reasons to argue for gay marriage. (See his rather eloquent commentary on the passage of California’s Prop 8.) He’s just taking a truly inane Republican economic argument against gay marriage and SYSTEMATICALLY DESTROYING IT with logic.

    Anyone should be able to marry anyone else in this world, regardless of the economic outcome one way or the other. I would have loved for him to say that at the outset, but I think this clip is a pretty amazing refutation of one more lame attempt at justifying religious and sexual prejudice.

  31. @#22 … I figured #5 was being facetious as a demonstration of Michael Steele’s hypocrisy.

  32. I am surprised that some have never heard of Kieth Olbermann before. If you like him you’ll like Ratchel Maddow, her show follows his.

    “Single party rule sucks.”

    It’s called “being out of power” and it’s supposed to taste like a shit sandwich. That’s how our democracy is supposed to work. America has never had split party rule. It’s always been that one party is dominant for 30-40 years, there is a period of transition and then the other party dominates. You’ve had your turn and it’s been a dismal failure.

    Enjoy your time in the wilderness. You’re going to be there a long time.

  33. It’s like Roseanne said: if you think gay sex is gross, you should be FOR gay marriage. That’ll put a stop to it just like it does for all the straight people.

  34. I don’t see how gay marriage could be bad for the economy, but I think I’ll not comment on this one – me being a Christian Conservative Republican and all.

  35. @AceJohnny

    You excused his behaviour; “this politician is just doing his job: pandering to his demographic”. I just don’t believe that’s his job.

    Don’t really understand why you wrote the rest of your post. Erm, we know bad politicians exist.

  36. @AceJohnny

    You excused his behaviour; “this politician is just doing his job: pandering to his demographic”. I just don’t believe that’s his job.

    Don’t really understand why you wrote the rest of your post. Erm, we know bad politicians exist.

  37. “I hate single party rule”

    Just now?

    We’ve only been under it for a hundred years or so…

  38. Isn’t it a bit selfish of all those otherwise happy, commited homosexual couples to withold those expenditures (Olbermann said that gay marriage would “create more than $16 billion in economic activity for weddings, which benefit local stationers, photographers, bakers, hoteliers, etc.”) simply because their mariages aren’t sanctioned by the law?

    But in reality, isn’t that $16BN just going to be re-directed from somewhere else in the economy?

  39. “you can at least give Jon Stewart credit”

    We’re doing footnotes and references now? ;)

  40. A few thoughts occur. First, this fellow is truly annoying; I guess all the infotainers who ‘advocate’ for their side, be it this fool or Bill O’Reilly or any of the others, are more interested in pandering to their constituency than trying to understand an issue and propose reasonable counterpoint. They’re all so smarmy with their smug lecturing, WTF is the point? It’s not communicating, it’s soap boxing to an audience you know is going to either cheer you, or vilify you, and who cares as long as they are watching and allowing an audience to be delivered to advertisers. Total bullshit, no wonder so many people act like assholes, they try to emulate their ‘guy’; Stewart, O’Reilly, Olberman, Colbert, Stern, etc. etc.
    The Chairman of the RNC aside, how can anyone honestly, HONESTLY, address the real concerns that may occur as a result of what is, no question about it, a major change to our societal structure?
    Whether this change is long overdue, fair, correct, right, whatever, all that aside, Why is a discussion of what the impacts on our society/culture may be, why is that so out of bounds?
    For the sake of argument let’s agree we are moving toward a greater fulfillment of our potential as human beings.
    Are there bumps in the road ahead? How do we address them? With compassion, care, love, concern? Apparently not.
    If some of this additional revenue from all the weddings and gowns and invitations! find it’s way to the employers and School Districts and Municipalities that will definitely see an increase in demands for benefits, well then OK, that’s one issue resolved, but I don’t think it’s going to be the smoothest transition ever.
    So many of our problems are inter-related, for example, an overhaul of our health care system might make sense, rather than the employers paying for healthcare for their employees, that might address this concern.
    I’m sure we’ll fumble through this somehow, and in a few decades everyone will be wondering what all the fuss was about.
    But it will certainly not be a result of the jerks on both sides of the issue, like Misters Steele and Olbermann.

  41. Timothy 40: No one who opposes marriage equality gets to accuse a committed gay couple of selfishness on any grounds whatever. They can, of course, can’t stop ’em; but we’ll point and laugh at their ridiculous hypocrisy, since only the most selfish motivations make anyone oppose marriage equality.

    The Institution of Marriage, my foot.

    And the money would primarily come out of savings. Some people have been saving for their weddings for a lonnng time, and have just been waiting for them to be legal.

  42. Tom Hale, see, the thing is – you’re a Christian Conservative Republican. Which means that you are nearly completely un-like the people currently running the GOP! Welcome to the club, man!

    Jesus didn’t approve of picking fights with the f*gs. He kissed men on the lips, too, and nobody called him a fairy.

  43. #43: Thing is, how is it anyone else’s business who marries who. We’re talking about a change that affects the lives of individuals, not everybody as a whole.

    “real concerns” is a subjective phrase. I’ve yet to hear a single argument, ever, against gay marriage that doesnt spring from bigotry and/or religion (or perhaps the bigotry innate in religion). These aren’t what I could call “real” concerns. They’re the product of tiny, shriveled, worthless, moronic little brains.

  44. Btw, the argument the Rethuglican* is making here is a prime example of the selfishness of those who oppose marriage equality (maybe I’ll switch to calling it “marriage justice”). The reason he’s oblivious to the fact that he’s arguing against opposite-sex marriage too is that he doesn’t think homosexuals are really human, not in the sense that he and his sort are.

    Stpd fckr. hp h ds, nd hp t hrts.

    Remco 16: the similarities between a regular marriage and a gay marriage

    ‘Regular’, huh? I take it you’re a ‘regular’ guy, since otherwise you wouldn’t phrase it that way.

    The ability to regard oneself as the unmarked case is a privilege of the ruling class.
    ___
    *Not sure I still need to say this, since everyone except the thugs seem to be fleeing the GOP, but this is a subtype of Republican, not a broad brush painting the entire party. Soon it will be, though: only the true crazies seem to be hanging on.

  45. I think Orangebag is correct.

    In Hawaii, unmarried couples can register as ‘reciprocal beneficiaries,’ which entitles them to the same work place coverage as spouses. Allowing same sex marriages wouldn’t effect any change in that regard.

    But speaking to Steele’s point that small businesses will be drained of resources, the Hawaii reciprocal beneficiary statute has been in effect for 12 years without any apparent effect.

  46. XOPHER said:

    No one who opposes marriage equality gets to accuse a committed gay couple of selfishness on any grounds whatever.

    I made no statement about opposing or supporting marriage equality (I don’t see how my opinion infulences anyone.), but the argument that there is $16BN/year sitting idle, waiting for marriage equality is, in a word, asinine.

    My point was, why are they waiting to celebrate their commitment – denying the economy that (recurring) $16BN injection annualy because some folks in (Washington D.C., their respective state capital, wherever) haven’t passed a law granting their union equal legal protection seemed selfish. The wedding/party is (in my mind) separate from equality of spousal rights, etc.

  47. “Some people have been saving for their weddings for a lonnng time, and have just been waiting for them to be legal.”

    I wonder why. If I was gay and committed to someone I wanted to marry, why wouldn’t I just have a wedding, consider myself married, and refer to myself as such? Why the hell would I want to wait for a piece of paper from city hall that may or may not be available at some indefinite point in the future?

  48. I would like to stop paying $1400 a year in taxes for my partner of 17 years’s benefits that no “married” person has to pay for the same thing. We could not be more committed, but there it is. Its discrimination and its wrong…everyone should be able to understand that.

  49. #49: for the symbolism of it. Not to mention its an insult when the institution in question refuses to recognize the committment you’ve made.

    That’s just one answer. Its a very subjective question you pose. People probably have a wide range of reasons of their own.

    It may not seem like a big deal to you, but to others it means a lot.

  50. Why is the government involved and concerned with the partnering habits of its citizens, homo,hetero,whatever. Maybe it’s time to rethink the role of Government,instead we are expanding it.

  51. #50: and that links to the reciprocal beneficiary statute how, exactly? :P You can’t just throw out any old bad thing and claim a connection without evidence.

  52. Erm, my last comment should have been to Timothy Hutton @ #58. Apparently the numbers changed a bunch while I was writing. Heh

  53. Whether this change is long overdue, fair, correct, right, whatever, all that aside, Why is a discussion of what the impacts on our society/culture may be, why is that so out of bounds?

    It isn’t out of bounds. It just isn’t going to be terribly productive when the arguments against it are glorified proxy arguments made by clearly religious people who are religiously offended by same sex marriage or just flat out bigots. If the root of your terror of two people entering into a committed monogamous relationship is religious terror, what sort of productive argument do you expect is going to go on? If you think it is evil because god told you so, do you really want me to whip out a bible and start trying to show you that god, the all might omnipotent and omnipresent creator of the universe, really is nowhere near as obsessed with which humans are having sex with who as much as you care?

    For the sake of argument let’s agree we are moving toward a greater fulfillment of our potential as human beings.
    Are there bumps in the road ahead? How do we address them? With compassion, care, love, concern? Apparently not.

    I don’t know about you buddy, but I live in Massachusetts. You know, the place that has had legal gay marriage for 6 or so years now. Guess what? Society didn’t collapse. Heterosexuals didn’t decide that now suddenly marriage is meaningless. The only thing that changed is that people who love each other were able to get their relationship recognized by the state just like everyone else. My friends sister got a slip of paper saying that the state will treat her wife in all but official status as the 20+ year married couple that they are. Oh the horror. Oh the horror.

  54. Timothy Hutton: That’s why I changed the ‘your’s in my comment to ‘their’s before posting it. But since you mention it, are you married? Did you do so without a marriage license? If not, why not? If so, do you really consider it “just as good”?

    If you’re married, and you opted for the state-recognized version, then it’s hypocrisy for you to talk about gay couples being “selfish” for wanting legal recognition, and you really need to STFU about it.

    Also, you do realize that when people save money on their insurance (and in some cases their taxes, though most gay couples pay MORE in taxes married than single) they spend it on other things? Could mean the difference between a lavish wedding and somewhat-less-lavish wedding, or between eating out once a month and never, depending on their income level.

  55. I bet a return to slavery would do wonders for the automobile manufacturing industry.

  56. I like this guy, the left needs some snark to counter the Limbaughs and Hannitys.

  57. XOPHER – suggested:

    it’s hypocrisy for you to talk about gay couples being “selfish” for wanting legal recognition, and you really need to STFU about it.

    Please Xopher, read what I said, not what you think I said, or what you seem to think I wanted to say:

    Isn’t it a bit selfish of all those otherwise happy, commited homosexual couples to withold those expenditures (Olbermann said that gay marriage would “create more than $16 billion in economic activity for weddings, which benefit local stationers, photographers, bakers, hoteliers, etc.”) simply because their mariages aren’t sanctioned by the law?[emphasis added]

    I said nothing about legal recognition except that the homosexuals that are waiting in the wings with their $16BN in witheld spending were being selfish by not spending it.

    In a sense, if Mr. Olbermann is to be believed, they are holding their (financial) breath, waiting for the law to come around to their position. There is no law preventing them from spending this $16BN, it is their choice, and yes, a choice can be selfish and that is what I was writing of – the choice to either spend the money or wait.

    My marital status doesn’t enter in to it, so why try and muddy the water with a side issue? If the Homosexual Community wants to reject the opinion of all heterosexuals, or all married heterosexuals, it will be very, very hard to get anything passed – the most generous estimates I’ve heard place the homosexual community at 10% of the general population, and 10% of the population is a very small minority in politics…

    MORIARTY has it right:

    If I was gay and committed to someone I wanted to marry, why wouldn’t I just have a wedding, consider myself married, and refer to myself as such? Why the hell would I want to wait for a piece of paper from city hall that may or may not be available at some indefinite point in the future?

  58. Using Steele’s argument, we should discourage hetero marriage as well – all those freeloading opposite gender spouses claiming benefits! Not to mention reproduction! Dependents are clearly a drain on small businesses who get stuck paying for babies their employees make! If we really care about economic prosperity, we should all remain single and childless! Yeah…that’s it!

  59. It may have been mentioned here already but, Can a gay couple share health insurance and other benefits? And, can someone in a gay relationship receive their partner’s pension if he/she were to die? If not, that would really suck.

    I think that one of the big problems with people not voting for gay marriage is that they haven’t known any gay people. Until a few years ago, TV was my only exposure to gay people and TV has a bad history of casting gay people as being so different from most people.

    I worked part time at a hospital ER a few years ago and four of the doctors there were gay. Until then I never knew anyone that was gay – or openly gay. Except for one doctor that was really flamboyant, the doctors were just like regular folks (there has to be a better way to say that). I would have had no idea that they were gay if it hadn’t come up in conversations. Hell, I was shocked when I found out that some of the regulars on BB are gay. Get to know someone that you would call a friend and happens to be gay, I doubt that you would wish such hardships on them that not allowing gay marriage causes.

    And – If you’re using religion as your reason for not wanting gay marriage, then you’re a hypocrite. I have way too big a plank in my own eye for me to worry about the splinter in my brother’s eye.

  60. Timothy, I agree with Antinous. You and I have been on civil terms in the past, and it distresses me that you’re being kind of a dick now.

    Tom Hale: Can a gay couple share health insurance and other benefits? And, can someone in a gay relationship receive their partner’s pension if he/she were to die? If not, that would really suck.

    No, they can’t, except in the states with marriage equality, and if the pension is a federal one, they still can’t (well, some places like NYC have laws that mean the company has to let them, but otherwise it’s up to the employer’s discretion). And yeah, it does suck.

    …the doctors were just like regular folks (there has to be a better way to say that).

    “No different than anyone else I knew”? I understand the difficulty, but the point is that gay people ARE regular folks,* and that’s why they seemed that way. I know what you meant though.
    ____
    *Well, I’m not, but I’m too weird for the gay community. In fact, I’m on the weird end of things even in the NeoPagan community! When Witches think you’re weird…well, it’s a compliment, but you also know you’re weirrrrrrrd. :-)

  61. Xopher, I’m kinda weird too – and I like your kind of weird (and I’m mean that in a non gay way). You’re one of the ones I was shocked about – I was used to thinking of gay men as effeminate (TV again), but I’d like to have you at my back in a bar fight.

    Thanks for answering.

  62. XOPHER, Antinous – I feel like I am neither trolling nor acting “dick-ish”, I was accused of holding a position I never took, twice, by the same person (Xopher), and I don’t think telling me to STFU is really being on civil terms.

    I questioned the economics of the argument (the basis of the original posting, you know, the $16BN), and Xopher tried to drag me into an argument about Marriage Equality (which, again, I never took a stand on, since it has nothing to do with the economics of the issue at hand), even going so far as to imagine my marital status and then instructing me that I was a hypocrite and told me to STFU. I choose to deflect the ad hominum attacks, and for that I’m being “dick-ish”?

    The closest I came to being un-civil was when I asserted that Mr. Olbermann’s position on the economic bonanza just waiting for certain laws to pass was asinine – not marriage equality, not Xopher, and not you Antious.

    I have often argued with friends that the economic argument for marriage equality is a losing argument, since the opponents aren’t worried about their taxes, they have different reasons for their objections. I think the path to Marriage Equality lies in a simple argument detailing the material, emotional, and other problems brought upon homosexual couples because they don’t have equality. Those are the issues that will win people over, because those are universal.

    Imagine how much further along the struggle for Marriage Equality would be if the Antonio Bandaras character in the movie Philadelphia had been denied access to Tom Hank’s character as he lay in the hospital… A scene like that could have had a profound impact on popular opinion…

  63. Timothy, you’re not listening to what I’m saying. You’re saying it’s selfish for gay couples who can’t get married legally not to have the wedding anyway and put the money into the economy.

    I’m saying that’s hypocrisy from anyone who has had the advantages of legal marriage. In other words, why don’t YOU have a big wedding with no legal force? In fact why don’t you do it every year, to celebrate your anniversary?

    The point is, people do these things when they DO have legal force. Did you really not understand what I was saying? Because I didn’t think you were arguing against marriage equality per se, just saying something really infuriating about how gay couples should act.

  64. I also think it’s offensive for straight people, married or not, to tell gay people how they ought to behave with respect to marriage or their relationship.

    Timothy, I apologize for telling you to STFU and saying you were dickish. I think this was mostly a misunderstanding.

  65. I have a friend who started her own wedding coordinator business. I know she’d love to plan a few fabulous weddings for her friends. The wedding business seems nice with the opportunities it provides for florists, photographers, designers, etc… It is a whole steadfast group of people waiting eagerly to participate in the economy. Everything we can do to boost a relatively benign product such as marriage is for the good.

  66. Xopher, are you in some sort of anger management class?

    Write it in your journals folks – Xopher was nice today.

  67. Xopher said:

    Timothy, you’re not listening to what I’m saying. You’re saying it’s selfish for gay couples who can’t get married legally not to have the wedding anyway and put the money into the economy.

    That is exactly what I’m saying.

    Xopher went on…

    I’m saying that’s hypocrisy from anyone who has had the advantages of legal marriage. In other words, why don’t YOU have a big wedding with no legal force? In fact why don’t you do it every year, to celebrate your anniversary?[emphasis added]

    Homosexual couples aren’t being forced to either have or are prevented from having a big wedding. They are prevented from enjoying many benefits from the states, including, but not limited to spousal health benefits, jointly filing taxes, the ability ot make medical decisions for their partners, etc.

    My having a wedding party isn’t about the legal benefits I am about to recieve – it isn’t about filing jointly, getting spousal health benefits, etc. it is about love, commitment, and a celebration of those ideas. The homosexual couples who claim to be sitting on $16BN in related wedding expenses are making it about the law – “I’d love to have a ceremoney and a party for all our friends, but they law won’t let us.” That’s baloney – please cite the law that prevents commitment ceremonies?

    Xopher concluded with:

    The point is, people do these things when they DO have legal force. Did you really not understand what I was saying? Because I didn’t think you were arguing against marriage equality per se, just saying something really infuriating about how gay couples should act.

    My wedding had nothing to do with that fact that it was backed up by a collected set of perks and rights from the state – it was about love, just as I assume it is for homosexual couples, and I’ve never said anything different. To argue that marriage is meaningless because “I can’t file taxes jointly” or “I can’t get spousal health benefits” honestly cheapens the institution of marriage.

    You may not have thought I was arguing against Marriage Equality, but at 10:39 this morning (Boing Boing Standard Time) you said:

    No one who opposes marriage equality gets to accuse a committed gay couple of selfishness on any grounds whatever.

    Which left me with the distinct impression you felt I opposed Marriage Equality, since you were (apparently) denying me the right “to accuse a committed gay couple of selfishness on any grounds whatever”.

    I hope you can see why I took exception to your statement, your back-hand accusation.

  68. Xopher said:

    I also think it’s offensive for straight people, married or not, to tell gay people how they ought to behave with respect to marriage or their relationship.

    Glad I didn’t do that – I just commented on the (imagined) economics of it…

    Xopher, I’m willing to call it a misunderstanding as well, can we agree on that?

  69. You know, Republicans should be creaming themselves for gay marriage. Can they not imagine the registries? Gay weddings could fuel a resurgence of many many businesses. Think about the parties! The many expensive art pieces given in honor of the celebrants. The heirloom appliances. Very good for the economy, very good.

  70. Cory wrote (in the heading):

    RNC chairman says that gay marriage is bad for economy

    I’m willing to go out on a limb and say:

    Timothy Hutton says that gay marriage would cause a lot of confusion in the economy (initially)

    Could it be done, should it be done, and will it be done – yes, yes, and probably – but there will be great upheaval in the short-term to the economy when health care costs rise, when newly recognized homosexual spouses come up against reluctant healthcare workers, etc., but it will all work itself out in the end.

    In otherwords, the shock to the American economy and society would be systemic, but short-lived.

  71. Timothy Hutton- for someone who says so much, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I suggest you actually read on gay couples who are denied seeing their partners when they are on their deathbeds, partners whose vulture-like families take all of their relatives belongings, stripping partners of the homes they have worked for. All of this is done despite contracts, despite wills, despite power of attorney. The state of virginia made it ILLEGAL for same sex couples to even enter into a contract together – meaning that a will, power of attorney, etc are void under VA law. All the legal documents in the world mean shit when some bigot family in a hospital rooms is blocking the entrance of a partner, because the hospital only recognises “family”. You should educate yourself before you shoot off your mouth with such ignorance as you have.

  72. Timothy, I wrote that with your, your, your, then went back and read your post again and changed all the yours to theirs, because you didn’t say that.

    And yes, we had a partial misunderstanding. Good.

    Now. You’re talking about “cheapening the institution of marriage,” which is really the kind of thing people who oppose marriage equality say, but I’ll take your word that you’re not among them. We’re not talking about the institution of marriage; we’re talking about the right to be treated equally under the law.

  73. In case I wasn’t clear in my last post (waiting for it to appear as I write this one): if we can’t have equal treatment under the law, the “institution of marriage” can go fuck itself. DEATH to the bloody fucking “institution of marriage.” If it’s an exclusively heterosexual club, I not only have no stake in it, it’s in my best interest (economically and socially) to see it crumble.

    On the other hand, if I do have a stake in it, maintaining it and keeping it going (and respected) is in my best interest.

    I’m not ordinarily that cynical, but I’m so tired of the cynicism of the anti-equality shitheads (RNC chair to average jerk on the street, they’re all lying, selfish suckholes) that I’m just not playing this game anymore. That’s why I have NO friends who oppose marriage equality, and if I found out someone I thought was a friend did oppose it, I would stop being friends with that person.

    Just so there’s no ambiguity in my position.

  74. Xopher said:

    Now. You’re talking about “cheapening the institution of marriage,” which is really the kind of thing people who oppose marriage equality say, but I’ll take your word that you’re not among them.

    I’m not being sufficiently careful about my words – Marriage is more than a collection of legal rights, that is my point. Reducing the argument to just legal points (ignoring the commitment, emotion, etc.) lessens it.

    We’re not talking about the institution of marriage; we’re talking about the right to be treated equally under the law.

    Agreed. I was loose in my language.

  75. Anonymous said:

    Timothy Hutton- for someone who says so much, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. I suggest you actually read on gay couples who are denied seeing their partners when they are on their deathbeds, partners whose vulture-like families take all of their relatives belongings, stripping partners of the homes they have worked for.

    Anonymous (if that is your real name), which part of the following makes you think I “don’t have a clue”:

    Imagine how much further along the struggle for Marriage Equality would be if the Antonio Bandaras character in the movie Philadelphia had been denied access to Tom Hank’s character as he lay in the hospital… A scene like that could have had a profound impact on popular opinion…

    My point was, and is, a reduction of the argument for Marriage Equality to simple economic issues alone makes it easy to dismiss. Numbers can be argued, trivialized, dismissed – graphic displays of real inequality drive the idea home succinctly.

  76. Just to throw another 2 cents in, I think Tim Hutton was saying that a loving commitment is a different issue than civil and legal rights. Not that either is more or less important, only that loving your spouse is about the two of you, and legal rights are about your society and state’s interaction with the two.

    I would extend Xopher’s argument even further, though, and argue that if such a thing as ‘spousal benefits’ exists, surely it shouldn’t be denied to a widowed parent? In fact, the Canadian tax code allows just such a spousal-equivalent status claim!

    So the argument comes down to equality once again — assignable spousal benefits, or no spousal benefits. Somehow I know which one the fiscal conservatives choose, in their frenzy to save pennies now — only to spend dollars later.

  77. .
    Look, for once, they’re right: The Founders dedicated this country to “Lise, Libertie, and the Purfuit of Monnie.” Get used to it.
    .

  78. Timothy, once again we’re in violent agreement on most issues. I agree that marriage is more athan a collection of legal rights, but it’s the legal rights that are at issue. And remember that our discussion of the economics of legal marriage equality was in response to the RNC chair’s nonsensical attack on it using economic arguments, so naturally the discussion has focused on that.

  79. A bit of a non sequitur, but I would also note that allowing same sex marriages would save the federal government roughly $1 billion a year in higher tax receipts and lower Medicare, Medicaid and other means-tested entitlement program spending, according to one non-partisan congressional agency. The estimate, published by the Congressional Budget Office in 2004, could have changed since then — in particular on the tax side because of so-called marriage penalty revisions to the tax code.

    Still it is worth a read.

    I don’t know if it is proper etiquette to post a URL, but here it is: http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=5559

    In any case the logic is that many entitlements and tax benefits are income-based. In a nut-shell, double-income non-married couples can receive more in benefits and tax breaks than if they were married and their household incomes were combined. I assume this also holds true, generally speaking, at the state level.

    Responding more directly to Mr. Steele’s comments, single-sex couples tend to be double-income couples. I am not saying universally, but just at the margin.

    As a result, there is a chance — one I cannot quantify — that allowing a same-sex couple to marry will simply result in the switching of a spouse from one employer-provided health care plan to another. Given larger companies’ ability to offer better benefits, I would think the tendency would be for the shifting spouse to shift from the health care plan offered by the smaller company to the larger company if such a choice for the couple existed.

    Sorry this is such a boring, technical post, but I hope it helps inform the discussion.

  80. What, Anonymous 96, you think FACTS are allowed here?!?!!?

    I kid. Thank you for that. It’s quite helpful, actually, and it’s perfectly OK to post a URL of that kind (your blog, porn sites etc. much less so).

    I particularly like your last point: marriage justice helps small business owners by getting the employee onto a bigger company’s plan!

  81. Xopher – Just remember, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Everytime an employee leaves a smaller company’s health plan, the insured pool at the smaller employer shrinks, causing each remaining insured person to cost a bit more…

    Overall costs may go down, but for very small companies the savings may be may be slight.

    Anonymous, thanks for an interesting post.

  82. An aside: I thought Republicans were the small government party that wanted to just step aside and let everyone do their thing. How is it small government to try and stick your nose into everyone’s bedrooms and registrar?

  83. Andrew, Republicans are the party that wants to restrict people so they can do nothing except consume, reproduce, and obey. Restrictions on people are fine with them; it’s restrictions on giant corporations that they can’t stand.

    It’s the party of hypocrisy, torture, and lies. It must be consigned to the ashheap of history if the United States is ever again to be a great nation.

  84. Takuan, when you post a link to a video, could you at least mention what the video is, or what it’s about? I know I never click any link unless I have some idea where it goes (and ‘to YouTube’ isn’t enough information), and that there are some things I don’t like to look at. That means I hardly ever click on any of your links.

    So could you please explain, when posting a link, what kind of thing we’ll see when we go to the link? That would be very helpful and kind. Thanks.

  85. #101 POSTED BY XOPHER – Come on Xopher, I’m a Republican and I don’t want any of those things.

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