Monday, May 18, 2009

The cost of gay marriage

The Economist's blog reports that the head of the Republican
party, Michael Steele, is saying that gay marriage costs employers money, because more of their employees will have spouses that employers must provide health insurance for.

I'm not getting it. I thought the GOP opposed gay marriage because they think it encourages and increases homosexuality. Of course I think they're mistaken. But if their absurd strategy works, gay employees will eventually give up on being gay, marry the opposite sex, and employers will have to pay insurance for those opposite-sex spouses. (and perhaps they'll even be more likely to end up with children to insure)

But suppose the strategy doesn't work (as I suspect Steele knows that it won't). Suppose people are gay just because they're gay and not because creeping liberalism lured them into it. Then what Steele is saying is pretty explicitly awful: we admit that banning gay marriage doesn't have the positive moral effect we intend, and in fact we're depending on that failure to save money.

It's like if you decided to train a horse to talk by only feeding it when it said "please". Maybe your horse won't learn to talk, but think of all the money you'll save on oats!