Thursday, August 28, 2008

Should We Discriminate Against $712 Billion Dollars?

"It's the economy, stupid". Don't we vote in our own economic self-interest? We think we do, but we don't. We allow our politicians to manipulate the cultural baggage we all carry around with us, in an effort to hide the truth...especially the economic truth, as it is in their economic self-interest to do so. Nowhere, can this be seen more clearly, than the issue of gay rights.

$712 billon this year and $835 billion by 2011...that's the purchasing power (projected) of the gay population in 2008. These dollars are free to circulate and contribute to the system of production, distribution and consumption that enables us to live the lifestyle that the majority of the world is still deprived. Yet those same dollars can't purchase legal status -- now proven to make gay relationships last longer -- or equality, or freedom of expression, no matter how conducive those dollars are to the vitality of our economy...the same economy that is so crucial to the quality of the culture and society most of us enjoy or benefit.

“The best available Census data on same-sex couples supports the understanding, however, that gay populations tend to be somewhat more concentrated in major metro areas, and less likely to live in rural, under populated areas -- a characteristic generally associated with higher than average income. We also see that same-sex couples are less likely than their married heterosexual counterparts to have kids, and they are more likely to have both partners in the workforce, factors which yield higher per capita household income, especially in the case of gay male couples.” -- Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc.
Of the approximately 300 million people in our nation, 250 million are over 18-years old. "Experts" judge the gay population ranges anywhere from 4-10%, however Harris Interactive, an American research company, reports 7% of the population or 17 million American adults are gay based on anonymous polls they have taken over the last 7%, it is. That adds up to a lot of *disposable income, when you consider many gay people do not have children, therefore they have the time and money to pursue consumerist activities that keep our economy afloat. Private industry seems to be catching on as 471 (94.2%) of the 2008 FORTUNE 500 companies voluntarily include sexual orientation in their employment nondiscrimination policies.

"The FORTUNE 500 have overwhelmingly decided that including sexual orientation is in the best corporate interest and helps communicate corporate values to the estimated $660 billion (2007) annual domestic GLBT consumer market,"
stated Malcolm Lazin, Executive Director, Equality Forum.

It's important to note that Senator Obama favors and Senator McCain opposes including sexual orientation in the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

* Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)


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