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Stimulate the economy with marriage equality

‚ÄčIf New York can do it

Helping cities grow their economies since 2011

New York City made quite a bit of money on gay marriage — 200,000 bucks, in fact.

Cash flow into the city’s marriage bureau shot up since August, when same-sex nups got enacted, according to the New York Post.

The office took in $2.26 million — up from $2 million during that same period in 2010, the newspaper reports.

From July 24, 2010 to Feb. 22, 2011 — the city clerk’s measurement period — New York issued 36,913 marriage licenses.

From July 24, 2011 to Feb. 22, 2012, however, the city gave out 41,967.

The five leaders of the Mayors for the Freedom to Marry movement mention the economic argument among other reasons as they make their case in a Chron op-ed.

In Boston, where gay and lesbian couples have been free to marry for more than seven years, it has been an important benefit to the city’s economy. According to a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA, the freedom to marry has encouraged same-sex couples to move to the city, in particular young, highly educated individuals – members of what has been called the “creative class” – who are vital to economic development in a post-industrial economy.

In New York, where same-sex couples have only been able to marry for a short time, we have already seen the benefits. Welcoming committed gay couples to the rights and responsibilities of marriage is resulting in an even more diverse, dynamic and forward-looking city.

In San Diego and Los Angeles, our gay and lesbian citizens had the opportunity to marry for four-and-a-half months in 2008 before the passage of Proposition 8, the initiative that amended the California Constitution and banned same-sex marriage. During that brief time, 18,000 couples married in California.

The four cities mentioned happen to be Mayored by four of those five aforementioned leaders. The fifth, of course, is Mayor Parker, who unfortunately cannot make any such boasts about her fair city. Not today, anyway. Five of the other Texas pro-marriage equality Mayors came to Parker’s defense with a press release that I’ve included below, and it’s a positive sign that all of the letters to the editor that the Chron printed about the Riggle crusade were in defense of Mayor Parker, but needless to say there’s a long, long way to go.

Anyway. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that by making marriage available to a wider population, more people got married. All those extra marriage licenses added up to a nice little bit of extra revenue for the city. I’m sure a few of those happy couples came from other states, including Texas, to take advantage of what was not an option for them at home. New York appreciates your business, y’all. Someone should ask Pastor Riggle and Jared Woodfill why they favor exporting all these weddings to other states instead of keeping them here in Texas where they belong.

Texas members of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry today came out in support of Houston Mayor Annise Parker and her leadership and took a strong stand against calls for her to step down.

Mayors Lee Leffingwell of Austin, Bruce Smiley-Kaliff of Castle Hills, Joe Jaworski of Galveston, Lucy Johnson of Kyle, and A. David Marne of Shavano Park issued the following statement:

“Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, including mayors from across the Lone Star State, stand with Mayor Parker. Across Texas, there is a belief that all Texans deserve lives free from discrimination – equality under the law. Mayor Parker is upholding her duty to the citizens of Houston to provide a community that treats all her citizens with dignity and respect. She has joined the growing chorus of her colleagues who are speaking out publicly about this. Like us, she is doing it while still maintaining focus on the priorities of her office. It is outlandish and simply wrong that some would call for her resignation because of her leadership.”

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