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Civil Marriage and Same-Sex Couples. A look at the disparity in health, disability, death, and retirement policy for lesbian & gay families. Lisa M. Polyak November 2007 [email protected]

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Civil marriage and same sex couples

Civil Marriage and Same-Sex Couples

A look at the disparity in health, disability, death, and retirement policy for lesbian & gay families

Lisa M. Polyak

November 2007

[email protected]


The Marriage Workscampaign recognizes that the benefits of marriage have been quantified through decades of research. We’ve merely distilled these benefits into clear, simple messages that anyone can grasp instantly:

Kids of married parents do better in school

Married people enjoy better health

Married people make better parents

Kids of married parents do better economically

Kids of married parents are more likely to have long-lasting marriages

Married people live longer

Married people have lower rates of substance abuse

Married people are happier

Married people spend half as much time in hospitals

Married people live more stable, secure lives

Married people live more active lifestyles

Married women experience lower rates of domestic violence

Married people have better mental health

Boys raised by married parents are less likely to commit crimes


“The Marriage Works program is a natural progression in the work of Campaign For Our Children (CFOC), a group whose mission has always been to reduce teen pregnancy rates throughout the United States. Mature choices made by youth are most often the result of a stable family life and role modeling of good parents.”

Janet Hardy, M.D.C.M.,

Pediatrics Professor Emeritus, JHMI

CFOC Board of Directors


“I think marriage promotion is one component of a broader way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

Andrew J. Cherlin, PhD, Griswold Professor of Public Policy, Sociology Department, JHU, in Couples Take Baby Steps to “I Do”, Baltimore Sun, November 25, 2007


Demographics of same sex families in the us
DEMOGRAPHICS of SAME-SEX FAMILIES in the US* way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

8.8 million lesbian, gay & bisexual adults

779,867 same-sex couples

53.5% couples are male

46.5% couples are female

39% of same-sex couples have kids in the household

* All demographic data from Census 2000, updated by 2006 American Community Survey


Demographics of unmarried couples with kids
DEMOGRAPHICS of UNMARRIED COUPLES with KIDS way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • 19.9% of opposite-sex couples raising children have been together for 5+ years

  • 41.1% of same-sex couples raising children have been together for 5+ years


More demographics of same sex families in the us
MORE DEMOGRAPHICS of way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”SAME-SEX FAMILIES in the US

  • Same-sex couples are twice as likely as married couples to be black or Hispanic

  • Same-sex couples are twice as likely as married couples to be interracial

  • The children of same-sex couples are similarly diverse: 45% are children of color (30% for married couples)


Demographics of same sex households in maryland
DEMOGRAPHICS of SAME-SEX HOUSEHOLDS in MARYLAND way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Average household income for same-sex couples with kids is $33,000 lower than for married couples with kids

  • Home ownership rate for same-sex couples with kids is 30% lower than for married couples with kids

  • 80% of same-sex couples are employed compared to 70% of married couples


Religious Marriage way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

Civil Marriage

Gay Marriage

Same-Sex Marriage


Why is access to civil marriage a public health issue
Why is access to civil marriage a PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE ??? way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

Civil marriage provides protection to families at times of greatest vulnerability

Birth Death

Disability Retirement

Unemployment


Immigration costs
Immigration Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Immigration and legal fees to obtain permanent residence or citizenship for foreign national spouse: $250

  • Immigration and legal fees to obtain permanent residence or citizenship for foreign national spouse: $6,500


Home ownership costs
Home Ownership Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Tax penalty for adding married partner to property deed*

  • Local Tax : $0

  • State Tax: $0

  • Tax penalty for adding unmarried partner to property deed*

  • Local Tax: $7,500

  • State Tax: $1,500

* Based on home valued at $300,000 in Baltimore City


Adoption costs
Adoption Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Adoption fees to obtain legal relationship to biological child: $0/child

  • Total cost for 2 child family: $0

  • Adoption fees to obtain legal relationship to biological child: $2,500/child

  • Total Cost for 2 child family: $5,000

Statewide 2nd parent adoption available in only 7 states & DC


Health insurance costs
Health Insurance Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Annual premium for family of 4: $3,640

  • Annual Cost: $3,640

  • Annual premium for family (1 parent + 2 kids): $ 3,640

  • Annual premium for 2nd parent: $3,084

  • Annual deductible for 2nd parent: $500

  • Annual Cost: $7,224


Health insurance costs1
Health Insurance Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Tax penalty for covering married partner on employer provided health insurance

  • Annual Cost: $0

  • Tax penalty for covering unmarried partner on employer provided health insurance

  • Annual Cost: $875*

* Federal income tax based on $60,000 annual salary


Social security benefits upon death of a parent
Social Security Benefits Upon Death of a Parent way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Social Security for surviving children: $1,494/month/child

  • Annual Benefit for 2 kids: $35,856

  • Social Security for surviving biological child: $1,494/month/child

  • Social Security for surviving non-biological child: $0/month/child

  • Annual Benefit for 2 kids: $17,928


Social Security Benefits Upon Death of a Parent way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Upon death of one parent

  • Social Security income for surviving parent: $1,494/month

  • Annual Benefit: $17,928

  • Upon death of one parent

  • Social Security income for surviving parent: $0/month

  • Annual Benefit: $ 0


Social security benefits upon retirement
Social Security Benefits Upon Retirement way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • Benefit for spouse who reaches full retirement age: $ 1,993/month

  • Annual Benefit: $23,916

  • Benefit for spouse who reaches full retirement age: $ 0/month

  • Annual Benefit: $ 0


Survivor and estate costs
Survivor and Estate Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • State Inheritance Tax on family home valued at $300,000

  • Tax: $0

  • State Inheritance Tax on family home valued at $300,000

  • Tax: $15,000*

* Survivor must pay Maryland inheritance tax (10%) on half the value of the family home (married couples pay nothing).


Survivor and estate costs1
Survivor and Estate Costs way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

  • 401(k) may be rolled into surviving spouse’s IRA

  • Funds continue to accrue tax-free until withdrawal

  • Income Tax: $0*

  • 401(k) may not be rolled into surviving partner’s IRA

  • Mandatory lump sum payment subject to Federal income tax

  • Income Tax: $23,000*

* Federal income tax based on 401(k) account valued at $100,000


Benefit summary
Benefit Summary way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”


Cost summary
Cost Summary way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”


Civil Marriage way to help poor minority couples improve their standard of living.”

Protecting Families, Improving Quality of Life ~ Millions at a Time


GJ Gates, “ Geographic Trends Among Same-Sex Couples in the US Census and the American Community Survey”, The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law, Nov 2007

MA Ash and MVL Badgett, “Separate and Unequal: The Effect of Unequal Access to Employment-Based Health Insurance on Same-sex and Unmarried Different-sex Couples,” Contemporary Economic Policy, Volume 24, No. 4, October 2006

GJ Gates, “Same-sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey”, The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law, Oct 2006

RBSears, G JGates, and WB Rubenstein, “Same-Sex Couples and Same-Sex Couples Raising Children in The United States Data from the Census 2000,” The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law, September 2005

L Bennett, and GJ Gates, “The Cost of Marriage Inequality to Children and Their Same-Sex Parents”, A Human Rights Campaign Foundation Report, April 13, 2004


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