For many of us, the emotional and human costs of being denied the freedom to marry are clear. The moments that matter most are fraught with additional worries including difficulties in visiting one another on the hospital, the worry about what happens when we get old or when one of us dies, childcare and adoption, and bi-national couples forced to live apart for long periods or move from the United States.
The New York Times has a fascinating article outlining the financial discrimination that same-sex couples face by being denied the right to marry.
In our worst case, the couple's lifetime cost of being gay was $467,562. But the number fell to $41,196 in the best case for a couple with significantly better health insurance, plus lower taxes and other costs. These numbers will vary, depending on a couple's income and circumstance.
Gay couples earning, say, $80,000, could have health insurance costs similar to our hypothetical higher-earning couple, but they might well owe more in income taxes than their heterosexual counterparts. For wealthy couples with a lot of assets, on the other hand, the cost of being gay could easily spiral into the millions.