Friday, January 15, 2010

Perry vs. Schwarzenegger: Day 4 focuses on economics, stress of being gay

Pro and anti-Proposition 8 protesters rally as...Image via Wikipedia
In the fourth day of testimony at the Prop 8 trial, expert witnesses were called to testify about how San Francisco's economy is impacted by the lack of equal marriage rights and the potential positive affects of that were reversed. Later testimony addressed how the daily stress associated with being a member of a despised group impacts public health care costs. reports:  The day starts with testimony from Edwin A. Egan, Chief Economist for San Francisco. His job includes determining the economic impact of legislation.

His argument: marriage equality means more married couples. Those who marry tend to accumulate wealth, spend more, increase property values, etc. Married individuals also engage in healthier behavior which leads to greater productivity and a positive economic influence.

Egan discussed direct economic benefits to the city from legal marriages (event costs, hotel, restaurant). He noted that if DOMA were lifted, income taxes per couple would be reduced on average by $440, some of would be spent in the city thus increasing sales taxes and improving the economy.

Later in the day, Dr. Ilan H. Meyer, Associate Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health testified about the discrimination and stigma felt be gays and lesbians in society and it's impact on stress and over all health.

More from BoxTurtleBulletin: Meyer argues that domestic partnerships do not have the same social meaning as marriages and thus Proposition 8 imposes structural stigma. He talks about social stressors, both event (a bad thing happens) and non-event (something expected and looked forward to does not happen). Because all children expect to marry some day, denying marriage to gays is a non-event stressor. Meyer identified the processes that create minority stressors as prejudice events, expectations of rejection and discrimination, concealing–not being out, and internalized homophobia.

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