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Privileges of Being Married
buzzed, B&W
hairylunch
Okay, so I was watching a CNN special last night before going to bed, and they were discussing gay marriage. Now, the most obvious reason to support gay marriage is by asking the question, why should same-sex couples be discriminated against (with regards to the financial rights) that straight couples experience? Extending that line of thought, I was wondering, why does our government give married couples these financial advantages? How are straight couples better than gay couples? Or for that matter, than single people?

I did a quick google search for 'history marriage benefits' but I didn't see anything useful. Is it because lawmakers want to encourage families? (I wonder how many couples are not parents.) Is there any scientific research that shows that couples are more productive than single people? Why were these laws established in the first place? If we had population decline, then I might understand providing incentives to be married and have children. Anyone have any ideas/sites/sources that might explain this to me?

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marriage benefits

(Anonymous)
Scientific research shows that married people are healthier, more satisfied with their lives and live longer than singles, which may mean that marriage indirectly boosts productivity (however, being wealthy and being religious have also been shown to correlate positively to health and satisfaction respectively).

Really though, I doubt that the benefits given to married couples has much to do with science. Tax breaks and financial priviledges were probably first yoked to marriage to help families defray the considerable cost of raising children. Most likley, at the time American society was such that a)everyone got married (9 out of 10 people get married today), b)everyone had kids, and c) there was no divorce/separation, career women, same-sex couples/non-traditional families to challenge the equity of financial benefits for marriage. At the time, it probably seemed like universal benefits, since nearly everyone was married for most of their lives.

IMHO, anyways.
Josh

Being married really doesn't give you any benefits unless you have kids from a tax standpoint. And you can get those same benefits if you have kids but are not married. Until recently, it use to be better for married individuals to file seperately rather than jointly, because the standard married deduction was less than twice the single deduction.. but this has changed now so that the married deduction = twice the single deduction.

From a government standpoint not relating to religious beliefs.. gay couples produce no kids, therefor they produce no future tax payers. Yes, they may adopt, but that is just transplanting a future tax payer from one family to another.

-The other Josh (A)

Ah, but the financial benefits are more than just taxes. Insurance companies favored married peoeple - even being allowed to carry a spouse, as opposed to having to get a separate policy can be huge. They mentioned some others on the show, but I can't remember them. I think one of them was something about taxes on insurance you receive. *shrugs*

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