The cost of discrimination
Same-sex marriage isn't just about civil rights. It's about your money too
By Matthew Hirsch
As legal arguments in the same-sex marriage case got underway Dec. 22, City Attorney Dennis Herrera set out to convince the San Francisco Superior Court that discrimination against gays and lesbians affects all of us, not just the narrow interests of those couples wishing to get married. To help make the point, Herrera asked Controller Ed Harrington to examine just how much it costs to restrict marriage in San Francisco as a union between a man and a woman.
Harrington's conclusions were startling, especially because the city is laying off employees and cutting services in an effort to balance the budget. He estimated that a favorable ruling in the same-sex marriage case could boost the city budget anywhere from $15 million to $20 million a year.