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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 19, 2009 at 4:00 PM

RNC on gay marriage

Same-sex couples actually help businesses, economy

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has done it again, claiming that gay marriage will financially burden small businesses [“RNC chief: Gay marriage will burden small business,” seattletimes.com, Nation & World, May 16]. Aside: Since when have Republicans cared about small business?

So let me get this, um, straight: Is it that straight marriage doesn’t burden small businesses while gay marriage does, or simply that gay people don’t deserve health care and other benefits while straight people do?

Steele’s comments are particularly absurd coming, as they do, the day after studies published by UCLA’s Williams Institute show that, in the five years since it was instituted, marriage equality has been responsible for pumping over $100 million into Massachusetts’ economy.

This is due in part to the young and highly educated professionals working in creative fields that are 2.5 times more likely to move to the state than they were before they could marry there, and in part to the money generated by the more than 12,000 same-sex couples that have tied the knot in the Bay State, spending an average of $7,400 per wedding. Obviously, small businesses are benefiting both from the influx of talent and from the revenue related to weddings to the tune of over $20 million a year.

— David A. Young, Seattle

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