Business leaders save a few bucks backing gay marriage

Business leaders save a few bucks backing gay marriage

Now I know why all those Mass. business leaders are backing gay marriage by telling the Legislature to strangle the democratic process in its crib by not allowing the people to vote on a constitutional amendment.

The Boston Herald revealed on Saturday that the Boston Globe has told gay employees that same-sex partner benefits will be cut off for unmarried couples. Since marriage is legal, they say, they should take advantage of it.

Now it all makes sense. In liberal Massachusetts businesses have had to extend “domestic partner” benefits to same-sex partners of employees in the name of “fairness.” Thus since unmarried gays got benefits, it wouldn’t be long before unmarried heterosexuals were demanding equal treatment. And we all know how big of a cut of personnel expenses that benefits are.

So as long as gay marriage is legal, businesses—including such liberal leading lights as the Globe, subsidiary of the New York Times—can save a few bucks. After all, gays aren’t exactly sprinting for the altars. According to a Zenit article on the phenomenon worldwide, it’s been a trickle:

South of the border, in Massachusetts, same-sex marriage was introduced on May 17, 2004. That year, 5,994 same-sex couples married. Recent official data indicate that an additional 1,347 same-sex couples married in Massachusetts last year, for a total of 7,341 such unions between May 2004 and December 2005.

According to the study, there are not reliable estimates of the homosexual population in Massachusetts. Assuming the proportion is the same as the national average (2.3% of men and 1.3% of women), and assuming all the marriages are between local residents, 16.7% of homosexuals entered into same-sex marriages.

According to the US Census Bureau, 57 percent of American adults, 15 and over, are married. In Massachusetts alone, 51.7 are married. (See “Marital Status: 2000” report [PDF]. The same report said marriage rates in the Northeast are the lowest in the country.)

So businesses are pretty safe now. By saying only married gays can have benefits, they’re pretty much assured of cutting down on the rising cost of employee benefits. Selfish self-interest at work. Glad to see they’re motivated by principle.

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