Elizabeth Warren Makes The Economic Case For Marriage Equality

Elizabeth Warren — who is challenging Scott Brown’s (R-MA) Senate seat in Massachusetts — has reiterated her support for LGBT equality in a new “It Gets Better” video and interview with Bay Windows. Interestingly, the former Harvard law professor argued that her “background in finance and economics” has informed her of the cost of discriminatory laws like the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA):

EW: I first wrestled with DOMA in my bankruptcy work. As you may know, a married couple is entitled to certain jointly held benefits if they file for bankruptcy but that is denied a same-sex couple married here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That’s where I first started talking about this issue and the impact DOMA has on people in very tangible ways. Working in an economic field for so long makes me comfortable making the strong economic defense for economic equality and treatment.

Indeed, since DOMA defines marriage as between a man and a woman, same-sex couples who marry in one of the six states that have legalized marriage equality must file separate federal tax returns and are not eligible for Social Security spousal or survivor benefits or the tax deduction “their spouse’s health insurance benefits — a cost that opposite-sex married couples don’t have to pay.” Businesses also note that the discrepancy between state and federal law requires them “to maintain two sets of books” and increase costs for “human resources, payroll, and benefits administration.”

Brown, however, opposes marriage equality, the right of gays and lesbians to adopt children, federal protections for LGBT people in the workplace, and has even refused to participate in an “It Gets Better” video with the rest of the Massachusetts congressional delegation.