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We recently conducted a survey of our Grindr users because we were curious to know which candidate they’d be voting for in the upcoming election.
I was honestly a little surprised to see that about 20 percent of the respondents said they’d vote for Mitt Romney. That seemed like a lot. The vast majority of those Romney voters then went on in the survey to answer that when sizing up candidates, policy on the economy and job creation was the No. 1 deciding factor -- more important than that candidate’s policy on GLBT equality issues.
When I looked at the correlation, I understood. Those pro-Romney guys just believe he’ll be the better candidate for economic growth. But that got me to thinking … Romney’s better economy would exclude gay people. Here’s why.
Romney opposes same-sex marriage. He has pledged to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which explicitly defines marriage as between one man and one woman for the sole purpose of making it impossible for gay couples – couples who are married in states where it’s legal – to enjoy certain benefits that are freely given to their straight counterparts.
The pro-Romney guys who answered our survey must think that’s less important than his economic beliefs. But, gay Romney supporters, if you like Romney’s economic policy so much that you think you’ll vote for him in spite of his anti-gay stance, please consider some facts that directly -- and negatively -- impact your wallet should you choose to get married or if you already are married.
There are 1,138 federal rules on the books that currently give married couples special consideration in the eyes of the law. Those special rules for married couples involve enhanced property rights, additional benefits and tax exemptions. But even if gay marriage is legal in your state, those special rules do not apply to you. They apply only to straight married couples because DOMA makes the federal recognition of same-sex marriage illegal.
That means a gay couple pays more money to the government in taxes and gets less money back from the government in benefits. Meanwhile, their married straight neighbors get to pay less and get back more.
To be more specific, same-sex couples are not allowed to file taxes jointly as a married couple, and they can’t take advantage of the lower tax rate that their straight married neighbors get. They simply have to file as two individuals. And that’s because DOMA doesn’t allow the federal government to recognize their marriage as legitimate.
We also won’t get survivor Social Security benefits when our partner dies, thanks to DOMA. And if our spouse were to die and leave us a fortune, we’d have to pay the estate tax, while our straight widow neighbor would not.
And if you’re worried about job creation, you’d better not live in a state where it’s still legal to fire someone simply for being gay, because you could lose your job any day. Romney won't come to your aid -- he certainly hasn’t said anything about protecting gay people in the workplace.
Guys, the point is this: We're losing money on the current arrangement. Romney is set on upholding this current arrangement. For all he cares, gay people are invisible in today's economy. He’s made it part of his platform. He will defend DOMA.
DOMA has got to go. That simply isn’t going to happen under Romney. A vote for Romney is a vote against your own economic interests – definitely not in favor of them.
Image courtesy Oscar Guzman, some rights reserved.