NPR contributor Nancy Goldstein has calculated the "gay tax" -- the amount gay couples must spend to receive the same services that married heterosexual couples can count on everyday. In a column, she writes:
The cost of love isn't an abstract concept in my household: It's precisely $1,820 per year. That's the "gay tax" we shell out for me to be on my wife's health insurance plan, because her company must treat that benefit as additional taxable income.
Goldstein adds that "The media's primary focus on the morality debate around same-sex marriage means that most of the public, gay or straight, knows little about the very real economic costs of inequality."
The largest costs of marriage inequality also tend to be the easiest to quantify: Social Security survivor benefits denied, joint tax returns not filed, and many, many other cost savings that most married couples probably don't even think about.