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    Heard the following on National Public Radio's All Things Considered on June 17th, 2008, as part of the article Octogenarian Gay-Rights Pioneers Wed in California


San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom officiated one of the first same-sex weddings Monday night. Two elderly lesbians — icons of the gay-rights movement — held a private ceremony at City Hall.

Phyllis Lyon, 83, and Del Martin, 87, became a couple more than half a century ago and went on to start the first national group for lesbians. After marrying in a small ceremony in Newsom's office, the elderly women emerged to an adoring crowd.

   Second thing thing that came to mind, (after '50 years!') was: Well, wasn't that little legal problem a missed opportunity on a 15 to 30 year paid mortgage for a committed and stable couple?

    Take the rose by any name, "Marriage" as performed by a priest, "Civil Union" by a Justice of the Peace, whatever; give homosexual couples the same tax cut a heterosexual couple would get to buy a house. (What red blooded Republican could argue with a tax cut?) I bet you, not only would a significant number of stable homosexual couples take advantage of the tax cut and buy homes, a significant number of gay marriage opponents would reconsider their position when shown that neighboring a stable homosexual couple can bolster their sagging equity.

Originally posted to RogueScholar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 01:22 PM PDT.


Do you see marriage as a contingent factor in buying a house?

28%12 votes
47%20 votes
23%10 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think it is a bad idea to try to associate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc 20005, fearisthemindkiller

    civil rights with concrete benefits, such as increased home sales. Civil rights are important in our society by their very definition and without proof of any sort. They are, as our Founders wisely stated, self evident. Once you start associating them with particular benefits, you allow the opposite to occur, where others associate certain civil rights with specific harms. And that is extremely dangerous.

    I support same-sex marriage because I think it is a civil right and since I believe that supporting the civil rights of any small group will support the civil rights of us all (and conversely, that any attack on a small groups civil rights would be an attack on the civil rights of us all).

    •  Right on. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've been thinking potential profit might prompt the otherwise stubborn to reconsider. A self interest argument may not be flattering, but is known to get results. Ideally, the playing field is flat for everyone, and I certainly hope we refine our policies to be as fair to all as possible. Meanwhile, I recognize your concern.

      "Kid yourself about your own behavior and you'll never learn a fucking thing." -Al Swearingen, Deadwood

      by RogueScholar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:10:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Whut? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dc 20005

    I know plenty of people who aren't married but who own houses.  They all get the same tax break the married people do, so I don't know what you're talking about.

    •  Neither do I, really. (0+ / 0-)

      I've never been married, and I don't plan on buying a house; but if I'm not mistaken, married couples qualify for a number of tax breaks, including mortgage incentives.

      "Kid yourself about your own behavior and you'll never learn a fucking thing." -Al Swearingen, Deadwood

      by RogueScholar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:20:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are no special tax breaks for federal income tax with respect to mortgages for married couples versus those not married.  I don't think there is any situation where being married is better with respect to to having a house and mortgage than being single, in some cases, you'd pay less tax as singles if one party can claim all of the mortgage interest/property tax as an itemized dedeuction, and the other takes the standard deduction.

        If one spouse doesn't work, or makes a lot less money than the other, then marriage can save the couple a lot in taxes, because until you get into the very upper brackets, all of the brackets are adjusted to start at double what they are for singles, as well as the standard deduction.

        However, if both spouses make about the same amount of money, then at about $150K or higher in combined income, they may actually end up paying more in taxes than they did as singles, because above that point the married tax brackets are not double what they are for singles, and in fact, the 35% tax bracket is identical for both married filing jointly and single.

    •  If one of us should die (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't the other have to pay some sort of tax on the 1/2 of the house that belongs to his partner?

      •  Taxes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Well, there might be estate tax, if you have an estate of more than $3.5 million.  You'd have to check with your state to see if they have some kind of tax under that situation.  If you do have an estate exceeding $3.5 million, I believe that spouses can leave whatever they want to each other with no tax consequences, but if you both eventually want the property to go to heirs (or a charity), it is probably more advantageous from a tax perspective to leave that half in a trust, but if you have an estate that large, you're an idiot if you haven't gotten professional help with estate planning.

  •  Nah (0+ / 0-)

    I imagine many of those couples who desire marriage are already living together anyway.

  •  Um, we buy houses together now (3+ / 0-)

    Thankfully the law doesn't prevent that.

    •  Right on. (0+ / 0-)

      For fear of being presumptuous or offensive I've kept my mouth shut about it until now, but I think the question framed as such might prompt some people who've otherwise closed their minds to reconsider. Thus far, the "nays" have it, but if I was a realtor, i'd be very interested in the "maybes."

      "Kid yourself about your own behavior and you'll never learn a fucking thing." -Al Swearingen, Deadwood

      by RogueScholar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:35:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It depends on your situation. (0+ / 0-)

      Sometimes the law does indeed prevent it.

      Or at least create enough uncertainty and instability to make it impossible as a practical matter.

      illegal, n. A term used by descendents of European immigrants to refer to descendants of Indigenous Americans

      by ricardomath on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:50:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gay marriage would be an economic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, RogueScholar

    stimulus, because there would be a wedding!  With all of the "stuff" that most people buy:  catered food, special clothes, flowers, travel to see the happy couple's special day, hiring a band, etc.

    You would think that Republicans, who own the sorts of businesses that supply that sort of thing, would be all for increasing the number of weddings!

    To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:36:29 PM PDT

    •  There appears to be a bit of a bell curve... (0+ / 0-)

      ...between business oriented Republicans and religiously oriented Republicans. McCain's former campiagn manager's comments lately rpompted my speculation on this.

      "If you reject [gay marriage] on religious grounds, I respect that," he said. "I respect anyone's religious views. However, religious views should not inform the public policy positions of a political party because... when it is a religious party, many people who would otherwise be members of that party are excluded from it because of a religious belief system that may be different. And the Republican Party ought not to be that. It ought to be a coalition of people under a big tent."
      ---Steve Smith

      Looks like an opportunity for some compromise.

      "Kid yourself about your own behavior and you'll never learn a fucking thing." -Al Swearingen, Deadwood

      by RogueScholar on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:46:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just an FYI: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pucknomad, RogueScholar

    Take the rose by any name, "Marriage" as performed by a priest, "Civil Union" by a Justice of the Peace, whatever;

    My wife and I were married by a Judge in a courtroom in City Hall, not in a church.

    The certificate reads "Certificate of Marriage" across the top, not "Certificate of Civil Union".

    And yes, had it not been for our Civil Marriage, neither one of us would have purchased our house, so in my mind there is a very definate contingent factor here.

    illegal, n. A term used by descendents of European immigrants to refer to descendants of Indigenous Americans

    by ricardomath on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 02:38:54 PM PDT

  •  While the mortgage deduction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    does not depend on marital status, two income couples who can easily purchase a home jointly because of the established law regarding marriage and assets might be able to achieve financing more readily. Two income couples who are not married have some hurdles to overcome--they need to write  a joint ownership agreement of some sort, and introducing anything unusual into the closing process does not best please financing entities because it involves unforeseen risk. So if gay marriage is allowed and all of the other law applies, I can see where this might increase house sales. Not a big increase, but some.

    This does make me wonder about why conservatives are against gay marriage. Marriage is a very conservative, in the best sense, institution. It allows a place in the community that really is not provided by co-habitation because of its presumed stability and its long history in property law. Actuarially, married people live longer, abuse drugs less, have fewer credit problems because of the mutual support, and usually have higher household income and wealth than the single. For all of these reasons, to me, talking about the financial aspects of this issue is not a side issue, it is a matter of equal opportunity to the pursuit of happiness, and financial stability can certainly help.

    Yes we did, yes we will. President Obama

    by marketgeek on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 03:08:21 PM PDT

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