GLAA writes Patterson on fiscal impact of domestic partnerships
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GLAA writes Patterson on fiscal impact
of domestic partnerships

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.
P.O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C.

June 10, 2004

The Honorable Kathy Patterson
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Councilmember Patterson:

At the May 20, 2004 hearing on Bill 15-0756, The Health Care Benefits Expansion Amendment Act of 2004, you asked if any studies had been conducted on the fiscal impact of domestic partnerships when taking into consideration the reduction of governmental services for uninsured workers and other programs.

I was unaware of any studies at that time, but I have since found three. Each study follows a similar methodology and all three have a common author, Dr. M. V. Lee Badgett.

Dr. Badgett was a professor at the University of Maryland when I got to know her. She is now a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and the Director of the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies (IGLSS). IGLSS is an independent think tank which studies important questions that affect the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.

The three studies are of the fiscal impact of allowing same-sex marriage beyond the existing domestic partnership law in California (May 2004), the domestic partnership act in New Jersey (December 2003) and same-sex marriage in Vermont (October 1998).

The net savings in California would be $25 million; New Jersey would see a savings of as much as $61 million; and Vermont as much as $22 million.

The savings are derived from the reduced cost of means tested programs and additional taxes from the expansion of the wedding industry and tourism. Associated costs include a decrease in income and transfer tax revenues.

All three reports may be found online at:

It would be useful to have a similar analysis of the fiscal impact of recognizing same-sex marriages or the expansion of domestic partnership benefits in the District of Columbia.

I hope that this answers your question from May 20. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


Bob Summersgill


cc: Mayor Anthony Williams
All D.C. Councilmembers

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