Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Tangible benefits of gay marriage

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This is sort of entertaining: Massachusetts is all in a lather that California will reap all the money involved in gay marriages (weddings, receptions, catering, honeymoons, and so on), so they have changed state law to allow non-resident gays to marry in Massachusetts. Sort of a free-market solution. The politicos were, of course, quick to say that the reason was NOT the money involved—very like what they say when they vote in line with the large contributions they get from lobbyists and businesses. It’s just a coincidence. Nothing to see here, move along.

Wonder when, say, Kansas will follow suit. The article by Pam Belluck and Katie Zezima in the NY Times:

Massachusetts may have been the first state to legalize same-sex marriage for its residents, but when California last month invited out-of-state gay and lesbian couples to get married, the potential economic benefits did not go unnoticed here. Now Massachusetts wants to extend the same invitation.

On Tuesday, the State Senate voted to repeal a 1913 law that prevents Massachusetts from marrying out-of-state couples if their marriages would not be legal in their home states. The repeal, which passed with no objections on a voice vote, is expected to pass the House later this week. Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat and a supporter of same-sex marriage whose 18-year-old daughter recently disclosed publicly that she is a lesbian, has said he will sign the repeal.

The repeal of the out-of-state marriage ban would come more than four years after Massachusetts became the first state to allow gay men and lesbians to marry, and same-sex marriage advocates said the timing was carefully calculated to catch the prevailing political — and economic — winds.

State officials said they expected a multimillion-dollar benefit in weddings and tourism, especially from people who live in New York. A just-released study commissioned by the State of Massachusetts concludes that in the next three years about 32,200 couples would travel here to get married, creating 330 permanent jobs and adding $111 million to the economy, not including spending by wedding guests and tourist activities the weddings might generate.

“We now have this added pressure, given what’s happened in California, that we really think that it is a good thing that we be prepared to receive the economic benefit,” State Senator Dianne Wilkerson, a Democrat who sponsored the repeal bill, said Tuesday after the vote.

Ms. Wilkerson added, “For me it wasn’t the most important basis of the argument, but it certainly is a perk.”

Legislators and same-sex marriage advocates said their primary motivation for the repeal was to allow all same-sex couples an opportunity to marry and to revoke a law that many saw as discriminatory. The law, believed to have been designed to uphold other states’ bans on interracial marriage, was invoked in 2004 by Gov. Mitt Romney, a same-sex marriage opponent who said he did not want to make Massachusetts “the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage.”

Kofi Jones, spokeswoman for Secretary Dan O’Connell of Housing and Economic Development, said: “The administration believes repealing this discriminatory and antiquated law is simply the right thing to do. The study does show, though, that this action could also bring some added economic benefits to the commonwealth, which would be welcomed.”

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

16 July 2008 at 10:45 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Government

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