To the editor:
Rangeral, we have no problem responding to your questions concerning pedophiles. We agree full heartily with the PFLAG Board of Directors Statement adopted in February 1997 which is, "As a family organization, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc. (PFLAG) strongly condemns the sexual exploitation of children by any individual, group, or organization, in any form and under any circumstance.
Although the majority of sexual abusers of children are heterosexual men, and the majority of victims are young girls, the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophile organization whose sole purpose is to facilitate sex between adult men and young boys. PFLAG, therefore, repudiates NAMBLA and its aims. PFLAG opposes the inclusion of NAMBLA in any umbrella organization, coalition, event, or activity that is associated with the gay, lesbian, bisexual communities or their families and friends."
Now to address your question of any adult being able to marry any child within the United States, all but one state requires that a couple be 18 in order to marry without parental permission. Nebraska sets the age of majority at 19. Although a few states will waive this requirement if there is a pregnancy, teenage couples may still have to have court approval. Even with parental approval, many states require court approval when a person is 16 years old or less. Same sex couples would be governed by these same laws should they be allowed to marry.
To answer your question, will same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partners cost taxpayers money? Just like some heterosexual people, some LGBT people receive government assistance.
So in fact, treating same-sex couples as families under law could even save taxpayers money because marriage would require them to assume legal responsibility for their joint living expenses and reduce their dependence on public assistance programs, such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income disability payments and food stamps.
Put another way, the money it would cost to extend benefits to same-sex couples could be outweighed by the money that would be saved as these families rely more fully on each other instead of state or federal government assistance.
For example, two studies conducted in 2003 by professors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of California, Los Angeles, found that extending domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples in California and New Jersey would save taxpayers millions of dollars a year.
Specifically, the studies projected that the California state budget would save an estimated $8.1 million to 10.6 million each year by enacting the most comprehensive domestic partner law in the nation. In New Jersey, which passed a new domestic partner law in 2004, the savings were projected to be even higher more than $61 million each year.
(Sources: "Equal Rights, Fiscal Responsibility: The Impact of A.B. 205 on California's Budget," by M.V. Lee Badgett, Ph.D., IGLSS, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, and R. Bradley Sears, J.D., Williams Project, UCLA School of Law, University of California, Los Angeles, May 2003, and "Supporting Families, Saving Funds: A Fiscal Analysis of New Jersey's Domestic Partnership Act," by Badgett and Sears with Suzanne Goldberg, J.D., Rutgers School of Law-Newark, December 2003.)