In a letter to the editor of the New York Times, M.V. Lee Badgett, UMass Amherst economics professor and director of CPPA, responds to an op-ed that takes issue with her research on the positive economic impacts of same-sex marriage.
The author of the op-ed argues that using economic arguments to advance LGBT rights “dehumanizes” gays and lesbians and suggests that basic human rights should apply to citizens only when it makes good economic sense.
Badgett responds by noting that economic arguments are only one piece of the debate over same-sex marriage. Furthermore, she notes, the claim is often made that equal rights for gays and lesbians is too expensive, especially in states that are currently struggling to balance budgets. Research like hers that shows the economic benefits of equality disproves that claim. (New York Times, 5/16/11)