September 5th, 2013
I’ve always thought “pass marriage equality for your state’s economic benefit” to be a bit of a weak argument. It is nice that there is an economic advantage to providing gay couples with the rights they are already promised in the Constitution, but that should be more of a happy coincidence than a measure of whether one ought to do what is right.
And yes, for so long as some states insult and demean their gay residents, there will be a certain amount of marriage tourism. But you could also get a certain amount of tourism business by building the World’s Largest Rubber Ducky.
So I’ve always seen this argument as a targeted appeal, a position that certain politicians could articulate so as to explain their support of equality to otherwise suspicious constituents who might worry about taking their hard-eared tax money and squandering it on Teh Gheys.
For years, the Massachusetts Marriage License hanging over Sue and Sally’s mantle in Boise had great sentimental value. And it might even have been beneficial for Sue adding Sally to her employer’s health plan. And, of course, it had much importance in changing the way that Aunt Thelma understood them.
But it didn’t have much tangible worth when it came to the way they navigated their legal affairs. It was valuable, but perhaps not necessary. And because it is complicated and time consuming to plan a trip to another state to marry, many couples opted not to go, or just indefinitely delayed the chance to say, “We’re legally married in a dozen states, but not our own.”
All that changed with Windsor. Now that the federal government will, for many purposes, recognize legal marriages, Sue and Sally’s marriage license has increased in value. In real tangible dollar value.
And now the time and the cost and the hassle may well be worth it for couples who can benefit from filing taxes as married or from social security inheritance concerns or from veterans benefits. Now the argument about marriage tourism may well prove to be a valid and convincing one.
And at least one mayor is seeking to cash in on the opportunity. Minneapolis’s R.T. Rybak is spearheading a campaign to draw marriage tourism from Minnesota’s neighbors. (Trib)
The mayor of Minnesota’s largest city made a proposal to Chicago’s gay and lesbian community Thursday: Get married in Minneapolis.
The visit launches an ad campaign to attract lucrative wedding business from Chicago and other cities in the area, where same-sex marriage has not been legalized.
Tying the knot in Minneapolis makes financial sense for the city, which reaps tourism dollars, and the couples, who would enjoy federal benefits, said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak at the ad campaign’s unveiling at the Center on Halsted in the Lakeview neighborhood.
Granted, Des Moines is closer and Iowa also allows same-sex marriage. But Minneapolis is putting out the welcome sign.
This is a smart move. For a license fee of $115, a less financially situated couple could drive six hours, marry and be home the same day. A budget minded couple could get round trip tickets for about $100 each and a decent room for about the same.
But the couples that Rybak is trying to convince are the ones who will make an event of it. They may have friends fly in or drive up (an option less likely for a wedding on the coasts), rent out a hall or restaurant, stay in the honeymoon suite, order flowers for the church, and hire a photographer. It’s close enough that they can make it more than a trip to pick up a piece of paper. And it adds up quickly. (WaPo)
Rybak figures the campaign, if successful, could be extremely lucrative for Minneapolis, profiting on everything from hotel rooms to flowers to caterers.
“Even 20 weddings would be tens of thousands of dollars, maybe hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Rybak said.
And the biggest benefit to Minneapolis may not even be in tourism but in same-sex couples who choose to live – and start businesses – in a city and state that has made it clear that they are wanted. Unstated in the slogan, but certainly present in the appeal is “Marry Me in Minneapolis… and don’t go home.”
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.