Frequently, during this campaign season, we see or hear about candidates or their spokespeople talking about how a particular candidate wants to focus on jobs and the economy, not social issues as a way of avoiding talking about LGBT issues; gay marriage equality in particular. The reality is, though, that LGBT equality IS about the economy.
It affects the economy when people who are LGBT can be fired just for being LGBT; leaving them with no source of income. It happens when LGBT people have to pay additional money in taxes because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) doesn’t allow them to file jointly. It happens when LGBT people have to spend additional money just to ensure that their families can enjoy protections that heterosexual couples take for granted. It, also, affects the economy in the revenue that has been generated in states that have marriage equality (or lost in those that have had marriage equality taken away).
LGBT equality touches the economy in many ways. Those who just want to focus on the economy and not social issues are just using that talking point as a way to side step taking a stance on LGBT issues and possibly alienating part of their base or negatively affecting their polling numbers. When candidates use this focus on the economy and jobs talk we should remind that LGBT equality IS about the economy. We should remind them about all the issues mentioned above and how LGBT equality relates to the economy. After all, as we have seen with the recent price increase of Startbuck’s stock, standing up for LGBT equality has the potential to have a very positive affect on the economy.