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$467,562: The Lifetime Cost of Being Gay


Two business journalists for The New York Times examined the question of what it costs to be a gay couple, and found that the extra expenses incurred over a lifetime could total as much as $467,562.

Placing a hypothetical gay couple in different scenarios, Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber looked at Social Security, health benefits, and income taxes among the long list of items where gay couples face costs that straight married partners do not.

"Here is what we came up with," Bernard and Lieber reported. "In our worst case, the couple's lifetime cost of being gay was $467,562. But the number fell to $41,196 in the best case for a couple with significantly better health insurance, plus lower taxes and other costs."

The journalists also find that the legalization of same-sex marriage would make a world of difference in almost every area.

"Nearly all the extra costs that gay couples face would be erased if the federal government legalized same-sex marriage," according to Bernard and Lieber. "One exception is the cost of having biological children, but we felt it was appropriate to include this given our goal of outlining every cost gay couples incur that heterosexual couples may not."

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