The Right To A Pursuit of Happiness
Marital happiness is far more important than anything else in determining personal well-being. If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy. If you have an unsuccessful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many career triumphs you record, you will remain significantly unfulfilled.
I did not have a very experienced youth, didn’t complete college or did much of anything with my loins before I got married. Nevertheless, I can testify that I have lived a full life because I found the one woman who fills that emptiness and completes me.
If the relationship between money and well-being is complicated, the correspondence between personal relationships and happiness is not. The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income. According to another, being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year.
So it seems every state that doesn’t allow gays to marry owe each gay $100,000 a year.