Will married gays avoid jobs in anti-marriage states?

The nation’s employers are soon going to find themselves in an increasingly tough spot as married gay couples start avoiding jobs in states where their marriages are not recognized under state law.

I was reading a Tweet yesterday by Frank Rich, and it got me thinking:


The answer to Frank Rich’s question is: Maybe not too many, once companies realize that gay employees may now be at a distinct disadvantage working in states that do not recognize the marriages of legally-wed gay couples.

With the advent of last week’s Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA, and legalizing gay marriages in California, marriage suddenly became ‘real’ for the first time for many gay couples across America, even those already married.  Why “real” now?  Because in some ways, without the over 1,100 federal benefits that accrue to marriage, gay couples, even in states that permitted gay marriage, were married in name only.  For federal tax purposes, and for Social Security, Medicare, and one thousand other federal services, gay couples were considered single, even if they were legally married.

That meant that the opportunity cost of working in an anti-gay, anti-marriage-equality state was simply the state benefits you were losing, not federal benefits – since no married gay couples in any state got federal benefits. Now they do.  And that makes the cost of working in an anti-gay-marriage state that much higher for gay employees, and it’s one they may no longer be willing to accept.

While most federal federal marriage benefits define your marriage by the state you were married in, some, most notably Social Security and taxes, define your marriage by the state in which you live.


Chris Johnson at the Blade reports:

Some of these benefits, like Social Security survivor benefits and tax benefits, are in question because federal law governing these issues looks at a state where a couple lives as opposed to whether they were legally married. That means a gay couple that marries in a state like New York, but moves to Florida, won’t be able to apply for these benefits while living there.

The ACLU says that President Obama has some wiggle room here, but they weren’t entirely clear what wiggle room the President has for which programs:

James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project, said while explaining the decision that the Obama administration can interpret the rulings in a broad manner to ensure all federal benefits flow to married same-sex couples regardless of the state in which they live.

In almost all contexts, the Obama administration has the ability and the flexibility to move to a rule where they look to the law of the state in which you got married, not the state in which you live,” Esseks said. “So we expect and hope that the federal government is going to update those rules … and that would mean that once you get married, you’re married for federal purposes forever. That’s what we think the right rule is, and that’s the rule we think the administration can get to.”

An employer that could be especially hard-hit is America’s, and the world’s, largest employer, the Defense Department:

The Department is also the largest employer in the world,[5] with more than 2.13 million active duty soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and civilian workers, and over 1.1 million National Guardsmen and members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Reserves. The grand total is just over 3.2 million servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians.


A lesbian wedding at West Point.

30% of Americans, or 93 million people, now live in states that have marriage equality. But what’s more important, every American now lives in a country that will recognize his or her legal gay marriage. That means 100% of gay Americans have something lose by working in a state in which gay marriage is not recognized.

It’s going to be very interesting to see what employers – and states – do next to stop a possible gay-business-flight from anti-gay states.

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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75 Responses to “Will married gays avoid jobs in anti-marriage states?”

  1. Greg Smith says:

    Homosexual couples will DEFINITELY depart for more tax friendly environs. Makes perfect sense. Taxes and fellow married homosexual enclaves will abound there…Not a big deal.

    Conversely, states that don’t allow same sex marriage will see and have seen a population increase as “straight” families and singles relocate to them. Yep. The tax-paying and population regenerating “straight” base is moving away from legal same sex marriage states. Fast.

    After all, only public schools, churches, mosques, religion-based objecting businesses and children raised by homosexuals are now and will continuously be negatively affected by same sex marriage in the 13 states and D.C..

    FACT: e.g. New York and the NE states populations, (anti- 2nd Ameendment, increasingly higher taxes and now same sex marriage), has been generally declining, flat or underperformed the rest of the U.S. population growth rate.

    More sadly,”white flight” is rampant in the NE states. Without “Latino” immigrants the last few years many NE states would have been MUCH worse off.

    Look at CA.
    Latinos now outnumber Caucasions as the predominant racial-cultural group: 40% to 39%. The 20% decline in Caucasions escalated in the last ten years. The above factors encourage fiscally smart and “straight-thinking” Caucasions of child-bearing years to move to OR, AZ, TX – anywhere but CA.
    The percentage of children born in CA or making up the population has steadily decreased since the 1960s and state population has stagnated at sub-1-percent rates for an unprecedented seven consecutive years. The slow growth was a result of negative domestic migration and declining births.

    California is entering a death spiral.

    Maryland lost the most residents in the mid-Atlantic between 2007 and 2010 — and many of them moved to Virginia, according to an IRS study released in 2012.

    The rate of abandonment is increasing. People vote with their feet.

    Watch for more homosexual activist and main stream media “demonizing” fellow U.S. citizens as homophobes, zealots and bigots if they are on the side of (or residing in) the 37 states that disallow homosexual marriages.

    The societal mores changes will be inevitable and insidious but a demographers and sociologists wet dream. This should be VERY interesting to watch the inevitable “Balkanization” of the U.S. based upon race, sexual orientation and tax policy.
    A country divided against itself cannot stand.

  2. UrsusMichaelus says:

    Not to mention, as pointed out by others here, equal rights as a gay person don’t always trump other factors in where one chooses to live. It’s not a black-and-white decision to be made.

  3. Maggie 4NoH8 says:

    I turned one down in Jacksonville, FL for exactly the same reasons… The CEO called me after I sent a letter explaining my decision, thanking me for cogently outlining the reasons I had turned down his offer. He was definitely on our side, but could only do so much with his board and nothing with the state’s policies. He asked if he could share it with his board (I agreed)…

  4. LaurenMayer says:

    All those unequal 37 states need to do is look at the states which have had marriage equality for a few years, and it’s clear that none of those dire predictions by opponents have come true. No one is marrying their pets, it’s still legal to play hockey in Canada, there hasn’t been mass public fornication in Vermont, and California has not suddenly decided to force all men to shave their legs. In fact, as this song makes clear, “Western Civilization Is Still Intact” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_Gz3yx2YGs

  5. teddyrooseveltprogressive says:

    I put some thought into this a few days ago – I’d say the Supreme Court has created the “separate but equal” of gay rights law.


  6. S1AMER says:

    Yeah, I remember that case, and was pleased at the humanity of the judge. Legally speaking, though, the venue would have had a good chance getting that judgment overturned on appeal (I suspect the venue agreed to the settlement and didn’t pursue an appeal or anything else solely because they’d already had enough bad publicity.

  7. Houndentenor says:

    I hope you’re right. I think this is another one of those moments when we find out who are true friends are. I remember well in 2004 who my friends were NOT and it was a rather rude awakening.

  8. Julien Pierre says:

    If you had a job opportunity in a marriage equality state though, wouldn’t you consider moving ?

    It’s obviously not an option for most people. There will always be LGBT people in every state. Some will fight from the inside. Others will help from the outside, by putting pressure on those states. Moving out is one way to do that.

  9. Julien Pierre says:

    Yes. Not only that, but we will avoid traveling to non-marriage equality states.
    Heck, we should avoid flying over them too.

  10. Stev84 says:

    The decision is crystal clear. They only struck down Section 3. But as I said, Section 2 is redundant. It hasn’t been challenged because getting rid of it wouldn’t change anything.

  11. Stev84 says:

    Section 2 does nothing. It’s misconception that the Full Faith and Credit Clause applies to law or marriages in general. It doesn’t. There are plenty of holes in it as it is. States usually recognize out-of-state marriages, but they don’t have to. It’s an absurd and impractical situation, but it’s established legal doctrine that the FFaCC only fully applies to court judgments, but not to legislation.

    What’s far more important is for the federal government to recognize *any* marriage and not defer to the state of residence. That’s the case with many benefits (like immigration or the military), but there are some glaring exceptions like Social Security, VA benefits and possibly taxes.

  12. Stev84 says:

    They didn’t just “try” to use it. They did completely resurrect it. And Mitt Romney had a lot to do with that. It was repealed in 2006 I think.

  13. Stev84 says:

    There was an interesting case in Indiana when a stage collapsed during a concert. Not one but two people from Illinois died who where in a Civil Union there. Interestingly, the judge allowed their partners to take part in a wrongful death lawsuit.

    Generally, you are right though. But it shows that judges may have some leeway if they bothered.

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  15. karmanot says:

    You always manage to miss the boat with such conviction B….sad..

  16. karmanot says:

    Even a palace and CEO job is not worth living in an anti-gay, bigoted hell hole like Utah. or working for a company like Goldman Sacs. Are you kidding! Come down from the elitist clouds and join the crowd. Oh, you have and now understand the freedom of CA.

  17. Naja pallida says:

    Exactly my point. It takes forever for these laws to get changed, and even when they do get struck down at a higher level, until entirely repealed, the bigots still drag them out as part of any excuse to discriminate. Even when put on the ballot to be changed, significant chunks of the electorate work very hard to uphold them, whether they’re completely unenforceable or not. We’re a nation that likes to cling to hundred-year-old statutes that are completely non-applicable to the current, and things only change when there is a significant push to get it done. Then, when people declare victory and move on, the forces of bigotry just move back in and continue to fight progress at every turn. We’ve seen it time and time again, from anti-segregation laws, to abortion laws, to anti-miscegenation laws, anti-sodomy laws… and now with anti-discrimination based on sexual orientation laws. We can declare a victory, and throw a party, but we can’t ever move on because the second we let our guard down for even an instant, there are people out there trying to bring back some demented bizarro version of the 1950s, just looking for an opening.

  18. Steven says:

    Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. But when their bottom line starts hurting because the most talented workers choose to find employment elsewhere, then they might see things differently.

    Plus, you don’t often hear the best and brightest say, “Man, I HATE growing up in San Francisco. When I get older, I’m moving to FT. WORTH!” (No offense meant to the many fine progressives and tolerant folk in that area. I live in a small town in GA. I know the deal)

  19. BeccaM says:

    Agreed on all counts.

  20. Zorba says:

    Yes, and they keep voting against their own economic self-interests. I continue to be flummoxed by this, but they have apparently drunk the Fox News, et al, Kool-Aid.
    Mr. Zorba and I were just talking about this. We find it hard to believe that average Americans, working as well as those who cannot find decent jobs right now, are not out in the streets in massive numbers, demonstrating. (And forget about them storming the barricades with, figuratively, pitchforks and flaming torches.)
    But they’re not. Never mind the fact that those at the very top are making thousands of times more per year than the lowest-paid workers in the companies they run.
    Part of it may be the Kool-Aid they drank, with the delusion that anyone, if they only “try hard enough,” can be successful in this country, and part of it, I think, is the fear that someone that they think is not “deserving” of help, gets that help. Read racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on into this belief.

  21. nicho says:

    Actually Massachusetts had an anti-interracial marriage law on the books for a time after it allowed same-sex marriages. And people tried to use it to block people from coming to Massachusetts to get married. The law stated that you couldn’t get married in MA if your home state didn’t recognize your marriage. That was enacted to prevent interracial couples from coming to MA to get married. After Loving, I don’t believe it was ever enforced, but it was never taken off the books either. And the bigots tried to use it to block out-of-state couples from marrying in MA.

  22. Claire Salwin says:

    Already happens.

    My wife and I and both transgender women. She has legal status as a female – aquired in Britain, her homeland – but I do not. We abused this loophole last September and married. And we turned down a very, very nice job offer we REALLY wanted in Utah, because if I proceed with transition we’d lose all those benefits.

    Staying in California, as I hoped, has paid off, and now I do not have to stop my medical treatment to remain on her health insurance (there is a catch 22 for you). But if all this has been a non issue we’d be making a lot more money in a much bigger house in Utah by now.

    Goldman-Sachs spent thousands of dollars flying Faye to various places around the country trying to entice her to work for them. But state laws about gay marriage are exactly why they got no return on that investment. Even before DOMA was struck down, this happened. Now it’s going to happen A LOT more.

  23. karmanot says:

    And if you can afford two ounces of Morels at Whole Food for $18.00, and watch PBS specials on poverty and starvation in America, you are in the 1%

  24. karmanot says:

    True, but Obozo is post racial now, according to mythology.

  25. karmanot says:

    “The fact is the only way these deep red states will ever lighten up is through the power of example” That is a beautiful thought, but only people of conscience are capable of lightening up, bigots don’t, haters don’t and congenital morons with guns don’t.

  26. karmanot says:

    Bingo MBA’s are not education, but the fluffing of technical bean counting degrees for corporate staffing.

  27. karmanot says:

    And further: put a sign on her that said: “Kick me when I’m down.” I met Lee Iacocca once and got that impression.

  28. karmanot says:

    I guess Target, Chick A-Fillet and Whole Foods will move to Texas in bulk.

  29. karmanot says:

    I thank the Spaghetti Monster every day that we live in California—– and for SF especially. We may be the last ones standing when the T-bags rule the country after Obozo has left the field free for fascism.

  30. karmanot says:

    That is nothing ‘victim’ about Blue in the least!

  31. karmanot says:

    “which treats us as second class citizens.” or criminals

  32. Naja pallida says:

    “Right to work” is actually right to get fired at the whim of your employer. And employment laws have such wide latitude that the employers really have all the power anyway. All they have to do is make up a reason that doesn’t seem like discrimination.

  33. Zorba says:

    Yes. {{Sigh}}. So we need a same-sex Mildred and Richard Loving case to wend its way up to the Supremes.
    We could use a modern-day Earl Warren and William O. Douglas, as well.

  34. Naja pallida says:

    Educated, or with an MBA? I believe there is a distinct difference. One major distinction is having a moral compass, and realizing that your decisions can impact the lives of other people.

  35. Naja pallida says:

    Pretty sure the wording is clear enough to say that all of DOMA has been struck down as unconstitutional, but the ambiguity is kind of annoying. Many of the discussions are centered around only Section 3. Seems likely it will require more lower court cases to make it absolutely crystal.

    I don’t think they ever could have issued a Loving style ruling, mainly because they weren’t asked to; that wasn’t the issue before the court. But also, because I don’t think Kennedy would have gotten on board to do such a thing. As is, I think we inched right up to the limit of his ability to defend the constitution as written. Assuming his judicial decisions aren’t made the way I believe they are, with a flip of a coin.

  36. Naja pallida says:

    There’s a pretty easy way to distinguish middle and lower class. If you have the choice of shopping somewhere other than Wal-Mart because you can actually afford it, you’re probably middle class. :)

  37. Naja pallida says:

    I think there is a real problem when we discuss interracial marriage as a parallel and put dates on it, or center the discussion around Loving. Southern states fought interracial marriage for decades after Loving ordered them to remove their bans and permit interracial marriages. South Carolina only removed their constitutional ban on interracial marriage in 1998, even though Loving made it unenforceable it was still state law. Alabama removed its ban from its state constitution in 2000, and 40% of the voters wanted it to remain! Repeated polling in southern states shows that the percentage of people who want to ban interracial marriage hovers somewhere around the same percentage. Which is truly stunning, considering about 1 in 7 marriages in the US are interracial, in some way, these days. Hell, just back in 2009 a Justice of the Peace in Louisiana refused to perform an interracial marriage – which resulted in the loss of his job, but still.

    Gay couples in bigoted states are going to have no choice but to fight continuously, probably well into the foreseeable future, for equal rights. Regardless of what the law actually says. Even if gay marriage bans are overturned at the federal level, it will take a generation for states like Alabama and Mississippi to get around to removing them from their state constitutions. And all the while, bigots will be using those state laws, even in an unenforceable capacity, as a tool to make the lives of gay people in their states more difficult. As it stands, even having all the legal paperwork in the world won’t make such a state recognize all of a gay couple’s rights, and they’d be well within their right mind to avoid living in those states if they can at all help it.

  38. nicho says:

    It should have also struck down Section 2 of DOMA, and required all
    non-same-sex-marriage states to fully recognize those marriages
    performed in states where it is legal.

    It wasn’t asked to. It was only asked to rule on a lower-court ruling that involved Section 3. But read the ruling. It says in every way possible that DOMA, all of it, not just Section 3, is unconstitutional. I was confused over that the other day, because it certainly looked like the court was going out of its way to trash the entire DOMA law.

  39. nicho says:

    No, this is the downside of bigotry.

  40. nicho says:

    there are 29 states where a person can be fired from their jobs simply for being LGBT.

    No, there are 50 states where a person can be fired for being gay. There are 29 where the boss is allowed to say that’s the reason. In the other states, the boss has to — and will — make up other reasons. In most states, all they have to say is, “We don’t need you any more. Goodbye.” That was used on me once — after I had busted my ass for months to implement a new program at the company. I was booted on a Friday afternoon, and on Monday, I was replaced with the boss’s son-in-law.

  41. Zorba says:

    We need an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. For GLBT, and still for women, as well.
    We fought for the Equal Rights Amendment for women years ago. We lobbied, we marched, we petitioned. We got a three-year extension in 1979 for the ratification effort, but by the deadline in 1982, we were still three states short. I cried then.
    We should try again, for a much more inclusive Equal Rights Amendment. But in today’s political climate………..I don’t think we can get it passed. Does that mean I think we shouldn’t try? No, it doesn’t.

    We have to start somewhere, and we have to keep pushing. We have to keep hoping that the fossils that want to take us back a century or more are dying out, and also hope that they haven’t polluted the minds of too many of their offspring so that eventually, the vast majority of Americans will look back on these times and wonder what the f*ck were the current Christo-fascists and teabagger types even thinking.
    Ah, well, I can still hope, and do what I can, little as it is nowadays that I am getting old, and am disabled.

  42. Zorba says:

    I agree, nicho.
    The Supreme Court did not go far enough. It should have also struck down Section 2 of DOMA, and required all non-same-sex-marriage states to fully recognize those marriages performed in states where it is legal.
    And I really, really wish that they had gone full-bore and rendered a Loving v. Virginia type of ruling, on either the DOMA case or the Prop. 8 case, or both, that simply required all states to legalize and perform same-sex marriages.
    Baby steps here. What they did was necessary, but not sufficient. Still a whole lot of work to be done.
    And I also agree about the lawyers. This is going to make a lot of lawyers very rich for years to come.

  43. BeccaM says:

    How about we take a step back and realize that absent ENDA, there are 29 states where a person can be fired from their jobs simply for being LGBT. And be evicted from their homes.

    It’s 35 states where the transgendered can be evicted. 38 where you can be fired for being T.

    That level of disincentive, I would argue, is even more severe than whether the state recognizes marriage or not.

    I’ve already commented several times how there are any number of U.S. states where my wife and I not only wouldn’t live, we also would not even travel through them because their laws call into question the paperwork we’ve had drawn up to protect our rights.

    But put simply, my wife and I would not want to live in any state that has anti-gay laws on the books and which treats us as second class citizens.

  44. Badgerite says:

    This is he downside of the Windsor decision, isn’t it.

  45. nicho says:

    What’s really happening is that people in the lower class still think they’re middle class.

  46. tiponeill says:

    This is already a factor for gays – even unmarried ones – and has been for a while. I know I turned down a job in North Carolina because both the company and the city were not gay friendly.

  47. emjayay says:

    In 1961 22 states had some kind of law against interracial marriage. Hawaii, always being composed of large segments of non-European groups of various kinds, never had any such law.

  48. emjayay says:

    Does sound a bit complicated, doesn’t it? And no question, will lead to god only knows how many lawsuits in the very near future.

    And also subject to whoever is in charge of the Executive branch at the time. Imagine what President Santorum or Paul would try to do. It’s not hard. Just remember who was in charge of EEOC or Secretary of the Interior under Reagan, or what GWB famously did to Justice and less famously to other departments.

  49. Houndentenor says:

    the majority of workers are already there. The middle class keep thinking it can’t happen to them even though it DOES keep happening to them.

  50. Houndentenor says:

    I worked for about a half dozen CEOs in NYC. All of them educated. Almost none of them “enlightened.” Some would consider what you describe and others would throw their own mother under the bus to save $1.50.

  51. Houndentenor says:

    Actually when I hear an attitude sort of related to this, it’s from straight people. They are shocked to learn that gay people continue to live in strongly anti-gay states. Not everyone can live in the handful of truly gay-friendly places (there’s not enough room), not everyone wants to live in a big city (I loved it, but it’s not for everyone), and many people have family or career reasons for being where they are. It’s not so much that they don’t care, it’s that it doesn’t occur to them that any gay people live in Alabama or Utah. But they do. It’s important that gays who are going to be left behind in a post-DOMA America aren’t forgotten.

  52. BlueIdaho says:

    I am not a victim nor do I wish to be seen as a victim. And I certainly don’t think the LGBT community is victimizing me. I apologize if my comment carried that tone. I could, if I chose to do so, move across the state line to Washington. However, I live here for many reasons unrelated to my sexual orientation. I look forward to the day that Idaho recognizes my marriage but I probably won’t hold my breath.

  53. JC says:

    From what I have read, married couples living in DP or CU states are not considered married. I live in IL and was married in Iowa. It looks like Social Security benefits would be available because you have to be either living in an equality state OR have the ability to inherit property from your spouse without a will. The CU and DP states that treat you as a married couple, without the name, would do this. Although it is not clear yet, I think we will also be able to file joint tax returns. We already file joint state returns. Veterans benefits are a bit more complicated. It sounds like many of the details will be worked out over the next few weeks by President Obama, the various agencies… and hopefully, Congress will step up to do their part when required. I am worried about what will happen to anything that Congress has to approve. I do not trust Republicans to do the right thing.

  54. S1AMER says:

    Yep. And our president’s parents’ marriage was still illegal in several states when they married and at the time he was born. They could have been arrested had they visited Virginia at the time the Lovings were unhappily residing in D.C.

  55. jomicur says:

    With respect, this is not what is creating divisions in our community. That is being done by the repulsive laws enacted in states like Idaho. And I have never heard any gay person say anything on the order of “I live in a marriage equality state and you don’t, so I must be better than you.” Celebrating our equality in the states where it exists does not in any way preclude a sense of solidarity with our brothers and sisters who do not have it yet. (And for the record, I live in Pennsylvania, which will get around to adopting marriage equality just slightly earlier than Alabama.) It sounds as if you are preemptively playing victim. But it is NOT the rest of the gay community that is victimizing you.

  56. nicho says:

    And Clarence Thomas’s marriage would have been illegal in many states prior to Loving.

  57. nicho says:

    Well, no one has used that attitude so far, and I don’t see why they should start. We have had equality and non-equality states for years now. The SCOTUS ruling makes the differences more widespread, but I’ve never felt any sense of superiority from living in an equality state. Mostly relief that I can.

  58. BlueIdaho says:

    I sincerely hope this is not going to be used to further divide our community. Such as: “I live in a marriage equality state and you don’t, so I must be better than you”. Micron is headquartered in my city and HP global printing and document services are also housed here. So, yes, many LGBT folks live here because of their jobs. A lot of LGBT live here for the quality of life and low living expenses. Although we are in the midst of a record-setting heat wave we usually have wonderful weather without all the nasty humidity. But the biggest reason I think of why I live here is to be a progressive voice in a state ruled primarily by the tea party. Others may not respect that decision, but that’s OK too.

  59. nicho says:

    Florida couple first to get green card after DOMA ruling


    A gay couple from Florida have become the first successful green card applicants for permanent US residency since the supreme court struck down a federal law against same-sex marriage.

    TraianPopov, from Bulgaria, and American Julian Marsh learnt the decision from immigration officials on Friday as the government acted quickly to change its visa policies after last week’s legal decision.

  60. Steven says:

    This is why I think Rick Perry’s attempt to poach industries from other states will fall on deaf ears, especially now that they’re pushing so fast for voter ID law as well. What educated or enlightened CEO or group of employees (especially gay ones) are going to think it’s just a swell idea to move from, say, Washington state to Texas, where the disenfranchisement of blacks and gays is always front and center? It’s ironic to say the least, that these laws and amendments to ‘protect’ marriage may end up being a very real handicap to employment opportunities and job growth.

  61. nicho says:

    I think there has always been a migration of people out of the hostile states into friendly environs. That’s been going on for years. But it’s not possible or practical for everyone.

  62. nicho says:

    What would work better is to put pressure on any trade group, organization, whatever that you belong to not to schedule conferences, trade shows, and other gatherings in non-equality states. If they lose of few big conferences and the millions of dollars they bring in, that will get their attention.

  63. nicho says:

    The only thing I can offer is that when the US changed its tax rules regarding same-sex couples two years ago, they did include DPs and civil unions. But that was just a rules change.

    Many of the federal benefits specifically reference “marriage,” which is why marriage — and not some imitation — was an absolute necessity. However, I think we’re on the verge of a lot of court cases to sort things out.

    This past weekend, we saw all sorts of pictures of gays and lesbians dancing in the streets. What we didn’t see were the pictures of lawyers celebrating. There are billions of dollars in legal fees in the offing to get this silly hodge-podge settled down.

  64. chris10858 says:

    I think our next steps as a movement are to apply political and economic pressure to any company who might be considering a move to a state that bans marriage equality. It always amazes me how conservatives change their tune right after something affects their pocketbooks.

  65. S1AMER says:

    Yep. Mildred and Richard Loving were perfectly legal while they lived in D.C. in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They only went to court to overthrow Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage because they were homesick for home and family and friends. Many same-sex couples have similar emotional attachments.

  66. Kristine says:

    If a same sex married couple wants to avoid becoming legal strangers in the eyes of the state, they have to be very cautious where they choose to live. Same sex couples do not have the same freedoms that heterosexual couples take for granted.

  67. chris10858 says:

    While reading this article, it made me think… what happens to those couples who live in states where only domestic partnership or civil unions are legal? Are they considered “married” in the eyes of the federal government? Can those couples apply for federal benefits such as Social Security or will they have to fly to another state to get full-on married?

  68. TheOriginalLiz says:

    I’d love to see people migrate out of the “taliban ghetto” states. Perhaps hitting rock bottom might finally get through to the bell curve tail-enders.

  69. frizbeesf says:

    Well it raises a question that I think many LGBT folks who live in rainbow-hue Blue States often ask of those who live in Deep Red States… “Why on earth would you want to live THERE!!??” And of course the answer is, they live there for the same reasons you live where you do. Job, family, friends and (outside of being a target for discrimination….) for quality of life.

    Yet a Homo-Exodus from these places is NOT the answer, it is for all practical purposes what the Tea-bagging wingnuts in these states WANT. When I had to move to the UK to be with my husband because of DOMA, friends here often said that ALL the gays should abandon the US and move to places like Canada, and the EU, (Wouldn’t that make the American Taliban’s year….)

    As much as my husband and I like to say there isn’t enough money in the world that would get us to live someplace where the School Board thinks creationism is a thing that should be taught in science class….The fact is the only way these deep red states will ever lighten up is through the power of example, seeing everyday people who just happen to be LGBT living the same lives, with the same hopes, joys and fears as everyone else… In the meantime, yes go on vacation to Arizona, or Colorado, or Wyoming, but do you homework before you go, find the LGBT owned and supportive business, and make sure you spend your money there..

  70. Guest says:

    Well it raises a question that I think many LGBT folks who live in rainbow-hue Blue States often ask of those who live in Deep Red States… “Why on earth would you want to live THERE!!??” And of course the answer is, they live there for the same reasons you live where you do. Job, family, friends and (outside of being a target for discrimination….) for quality of life. Yet a Homo-Exodus from these places is NOT the answer, it is for all practical purposes what the Tea-bagging wingnuts in these states WANT. When I had to move to the UK to be with my husband because of DOMA friends here often said that ALL the gays should abandon the US and move to places like Canada, and the EU, (Wouldn’t that make the American Taliban’s year….)

  71. nicho says:

    This is why it was necessary for the corporatists to destroy the middle class and the economy. When enough people are desperate for a job — any job — they won’t have the luxury of considering their rights.

  72. Bj Lincoln says:

    Married in DC and living in Maryland is great. Better with the death of DOMA. Harder to think of stepping over the state line for any reason.
    I don’t think I would take a job away from the security we have here. If I still lived in a state that had a ban, I would be moving ASAP. If I owned a business, I would think of moving it to a place where my employees are all equal.
    It’s not just the security of federal coverage. It’s the way people treat each other too. You can change the law but if the people don’t change then you still have to deal with discrimination at every turn.
    Ohio can change the bad laws they have (when they are forced to) but the people will still be rude and hateful. The people of Maryland were kind and friendly before they ever had marriage.
    It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  73. Hue-Man says:

    Presumably inequality states’ laws will not recognize marital status if you die intestate (with a will, your estate passes to your designated beneficiary “friend”). Property passes to the gay-hating next of kin and is fully taxed in the deceased’s estate – grieving husband gets NOTHING from the estate. Equality states pass the property to the surviving spouse with full federal estate tax exemption. Yet another reason to prepare your wills!

    So much for your sunny retirement in FL, AZ, etc.

  74. Houndentenor says:

    Exactly. We can choose where we go for vacation. In fact, I think that some states and countries should use that is ad campaigns targeting gay couples. But do you choose to be unemployed when your company transfers you to a bigoted state? That’s not always a reasonable option.

  75. S1AMER says:

    Avoid jobs? Of course one should, if there are options.

    But we’re not just talking jobs. What about vacations? Is a nice trip to, say, the Grand Canyon, worth risking all sorts of legal problems once you’re out of an equality state and legal strangers again. What about retirement to a warm state — is that worth it? Want to visit family in South Dakota, or can you play it safe and get them to visit you?

    And what about the hard-to-avoid risks? What if you live and work in DC, but have to visit a client in Virginia? You lose all rights the second you cross that boundary line that runs through the Potomac. If you’re killed by a drunk driver on the Virginia side, your surviving husband or wife can’t sue for damages and loss of consortium, as he or she could if the tragedy happened on the DC side.

    No, if you’re in an enlightened state (my wife and I are presently trapped in Virginia to keep a job, but escape will come in retirement), you should do all you can to stay there. Why not go abroad for your vacation? Lot’s of European countries are welcoming, and there’s Canada nearby, or Brazil next winter.

    Mostly, though, beyond personal concerns, what we all really need to do is work towards equality in all fifty states. That will take lots of money and volunteer time — and isn’t that a good investment!

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