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The High Price of Being Single in America

Lisa Arnold and Christina Campbellbyline‚ Jan. 15‚ 2013

In October 2009, New York Times reporters Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber compared a hypothetical married couple with an equivalent-earning unmarried gay couple, to see just how much difference those extra privileges made. Here's what they found: 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.

This is unfair. The solution? Bernard and Lieber argue that "the federal government [should legalize] same-sex marriage." But in fact, legalizing gay marriage only solves the problem for a few. Many more single people (gay and straight)—more than half of the population—continue to suffer from institutionalized singlism, the discrimination of individuals based on marital status.