ENHANCING TAX REVENUES THROUGH SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Proponents of same-sex marriage have used arguments centered on equality, fairness, and microeconomic factors such as reducing taxes for couples who are married, pension inheritance, and Social Security benefits. Opponents of allowing same-sex couples to marry use religious, historical, and political arguments. There seems to be no common basis for one side to convince the other to change its collective mind. Opponents who use the argument that Judeo-Christian holy law declares homosexuality a sin and therefore encouraging sexual relations between people of the same sex by recognizing same-sex marriage is untenable. This argument, of course, requires belief that
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Because of this political power, opponents of same-sex marriage are in the position to set the rules for the debate and logically have set the rules in their favor. There is however common ground to be shared in the debate; that is in the area of taxes. Political conservatives rally around the call for “free markets” and loathe the thought of increasing tax rates to pay for government services that “should” be paid for by people who use them or shouldn’t be the responsibility of government at all. This same group generally opposes same-sex marriage. Still, the U.S. federal income tax code creates a “marriage bonus” for some couples filing a joint tax return; that is, some married couples filing a joint tax return pay less takes than they would if they filed taxes as two individual taxpayers. This is one of the reasons same-sex couples believe that the discrimination written into federal law and most individual state laws treats gay people unfairly. For many couples, however there is a “marriage penalty;” the married couple filing jointly pays more taxes than they would pay if they filed as two single tax payers. (The effect on individual states’ tax revenues might differ from the federal tax effect.) We will show that both sides of the debate on same-sex marriage can use federal taxes as a point of common ground.
DEFINING MARRIAGE A look at the social institution of marriage across