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Marriage Equality Would Earn MN Millions.

Everyone should be able to get married.

It seems like such a simple, common-sense thing to say, but some folks just don’t think that it’s important to treat everyone equally. Minnesota Senators debated the proposed anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment today, one of the last steps the legislature needs to take in order to pass the measure.

Setting limits on what citizens can do like banning gay marriage is morally wrong. We pride ourselves on fairness, progress, and moving our state forward in the direction of the future, but this constitutional amendment will push us backward. Sexual orientation, or any other difference, should not be a reason that citizens cannot secure the same rights and privileges that many others enjoy.

Not only is this constitutional amendment morally wrong, but it would mean Minnesota could lose out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. A new report in New York found that marriage equality would earn New York $391 million.

That, apparently, is a conservative estimate.

This revenue includes fees and charges from New York couples getting married, same-sex couples who travel to New York to get married, and “destination weddings.” It also found that marriage equality would save the state almost $81 million because same-sex couples who get married would become ineligible for many state public assistance programs.

Everyone should be able to get married.

Even business leaders agree that we must push for marriage equality.

The report also cites an open letter to New York state legislators , released on April 29th, 2011, from a group of top executives, including the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, Con Edison and Thompson Reuters, among 23 others, stating that marriage equality in New York would “not only be fair, but also make good business sense.”

Constitutional amendments like the one in the Senate today have no place in the legislature, in our constitution, or in our society. Not only is this anti-gay constitutional amendment morally wrong, it doesn’t make fiscal sense either.

Our state is still grappling with a $5 billion budget deficit. $391 million in revenue certainly would not solve the deficit by any means, but ensuring marriage equality is undoubtedly a great way to generate new revenue without raising taxes, save the state some money, and make our state more committed to the Minnesotan values of fairness and equality.

Photo credit: Flickr

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