January 19, 2010
By Paul Hogarth
Lee Badgett is providing — and re-inforcing — much of the same evidence that Prof. Peplau and economist Edward Egan provided. That marriage equality is good public policy, and has a beneficial economic and psychological benefit. Badgett’s statistics comparing how many gay couples got married in California when it was legal — relative to domestic partnerships — is analogous to the data that Peplau gave for Massachusetts couples. But again, this evidence is not likely to be very relevant — unless the federal Courts take the unprecedented move that gays are a “suspect class” (following the lead of California, Iowa and Connecticut.)
But what I found most helpful was the evidence that gay marriage doesn’t hurt heterosexual couples. This goes towards disproving a “rational basis” that the Court might dream up to justify Prop 8. Nobody’s come out directly to say it hurts straight marriage, but if this gets raised by the defense — or the Court — it will be important to have evidence that such a basis is just merely irrational.