Moral issues aside (which of course is a pretty tall order), people seem to agree on one thing about legalizing gay marriages: it's good for the economy.
Massachusetts has already seen over 10,000 gay weddings since the unions were legalized in 2004. And now that the state has repealed its 1913 law barring out-of-state couples from getting married there, Massachusetts expects gay marriages will pump an additional $111 into the state economy -- plus another $5 million in marriage license fees and sales and occupancy taxes -- in just the next three years.
Connecticut, where gay marriages became legal last month, could expect to see anywhere from $3 million to $13 million over the next three years.
And if California voters hadn't approved Proposition 8 last month, halting same-sex marriages in the state, California was expected to see an influx of $684 million into its economy over the first three years such marriages were recognized -- and $65 million in fees and taxes to the state.
And according to the Congressional Budget Office, if all 50 states and the federal government were to legalize same-sex marriages, gay weddings would generate almost $1 billion a year.
It's hard to imagine gay marriage shifting from a moral issue to an economic development one (although isn't that what happened with lotteries in many states?).
Meanwhile, for a light-hearted (and I guess not entirely safe-for-work) take on all this, check out this clip from FunnyorDie.com, "Prop. 8: The Musical." In it, the cast (a lot of whom you'll probably recognize) convinces supporters of California's Proposition 8 to drop their opposition to same-sex unions because, as they sing, "gay marriages will save the economy."
Zach Patton -- Executive Editor. Zach has written about a range of topics, including social policy issues and urban planning and design. Originally from Tennessee, he joined GOVERNING as a staff writer in 2004. He received the 2011 Jesse H. Neal Award for Outstanding Journalism
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Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.