NOM's Communications Director Thomas Peters engaged in a spirited debate on a wide range of issues surrounding marriage, corporate fairness, and the Supreme Court on CNN this weekend:
CNN has posted a transcript -- including this part about the so-called economic argument for redefining marriage:
[CNN HOST] KEILAR: But the point that I'm getting at is that when we talk about this as a business imperative, let's take a look at what this filing says. It says, recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to marry is more than a constitutional issue. It is a business imperative. So what do you think about that? Do you agree with that? Do you disagree with that? Is it about more than that? Is that not enough?
PETERS: I strongly disagree with it, because, first of all, the top 10 states for growth right now in this country, nine of them have marriage protection amendments. And so, you know, where this argument comes from is the left wing, UCLA Williams Institute, which has been peddling this argument for years, that gay marriage is an economic stimulus. The very states that are currently trying to [...] legalize gay marriage, like New York and California, are not exactly in an economic picture of well-being. So, look, strong states like Indiana are moving towards marriage protection amendments. North Carolina recently passed its marriage protection amendment by 61 percent. The fact of the matter is that protecting marriage protects children and it helps businesses.
KEILAR: But, Thomas, let me ask you this. Because you have businesses now that are saying, it's costing us money. They say and this obviously gets a little complicated, but they say, same-sex couples are required to pay a Federal income tax on health benefits provided to a spouse through an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. Some employers reimburse employees for the extra tax paid. That requires extra time and money. They say it's costing them money. Do you disagree with that?
PETERS: Well, let's look at -- you used the adjective complicated and you're right, it is complicated. But here's one complicating factor that I think is being ignored in this broader debate. You know, the president is arguing in the Supreme Court that gays and lesbians are politically powerless class. And now you've been telling me time and time again that all these corporations support redefining marriage.
So I would actually ask Brian [of the Human Rights Campaign], which is it? Are gays and lesbians actually a politically powerless class or do all these corporations, the vast majority of people support redefining marriage because you can't have it both ways -- I believe the majority of Americans believe in protecting marriage and I believe that gays and lesbians are an incredibly powerful political class that are trying to redefine marriage for all of us.