American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Witness Testimony: Edmund A. Egan

On the fourth day of trial, Edmund A. Egan, the chief economist for the City and County of San Francisco, testified about the many ways prohibiting marriage equality negatively affects San Francisco’s economy.

Egan explained how state and local governments receive greater economic benefits from marriage than from domestic partnership.  He also explained how San Francisco has lost and continues to lose money as a result of the inequality imposed by Proposition 8.

Testimony Highlights

“I’ve identified several ways in which the  prohibition of marriages of same-sex couples would have a negative impact on San Francisco, and also negatively affect the city’s revenues and overall budget.”


“Married individuals are healthier, on average, and, in particular, behave themselves in healthier ways than single individuals.”


“What we’re really talking about in the nonquantifiable impacts are the long-term advantages of marriage as an institution, and the long-term costs of discrimination as a way that weakens people’s productivity and integration into the labor force.  Whether it’s weakening their education because they’re discriminated against at school, or leading them to excessive reliance on behavioral and other health services, these are impacts that are hard to quantify, but they can wind up being extremely powerful. How much healthier you are over your lifetime. How much wealth you generate because you are in a partnership.”


“In my opinion, if same-sex marriages were legalized, there would be more same-sex weddings in San Francisco.  And, consequently, those weddings would generate economic activity that would lead to more sales tax revenue and hotel tax revenue for San Francisco.”