The price of equality, finally quantified

In the first half of 2004, the Congressional Budget Office provided an estimate to a curious Congressman: how much would federal recognition of same-sex marriages cost? Their answer surprised us – it would actually net the feds right around $1 billion.

By all accounts, that’s a very rough estimate; it’s never easy to quantify how much equality will cost. Until today.

Meet Mark Jeason and Martin Murdick of Warren, Michigan, partners of nearly 18 years. Recently, they tried to join their local community center as a family and were denied. Apparently, the Warren Community Center only recognizes families who are recognized by the State of Michigan. Sounds like a valid basis for a mini-civil rights battle, eh?

Let’s look a little closer though, and keep in mind that Mark and Martin don’t have kids. Annual membership for a single adult in the center runs $230 a year, while family memberships run $500 a year. Certainly, a good deal for a family of three or more, but not necessarily for Mark & Martin – they’re actually fighting for the right to pay an additional $40 annually.

I’ll give them this: the fight for equality shouldn’t hinge on a good deal, but seriously, guys: shouldn’t you pick a battle that makes a little more sense?

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