In one way, it was surprising to see what might appear to be a blasphemous argument coming from the Missouri Record, a journal of politics and policy put out by the conservative Missourians for Responsible Government.
But there it was, yesterday, a post headlined "Economics of Gay Marriage."
In the post, Stephen Eisele, a Springfield political consultant and Obama delegate to last year's Democratic National Convention, notes that despite some recent electoral reversals for gay marriage, the general trend is moving toward legalization. And, he argues, conservatives and independents who "espouse a libertarian perspective on fiscal matters" but take the opposite view on social issues are missing out on big paydays for their states.
Massachusetts, he writes, has banked $100 million; Iowa, $5.3 million. Eisele estimates Missouri could see $15 million.
The Des Moines Register put out a survey in September. Did it find that Iowans were up in revolt? Had radical gays taken over schools and government? Of course not. It found that an overwhelming majority, 92% of Iowans, say gay marriage has brought no real change to their lives, while at the same time providing the state with economic benefits.Arctic glaciers will have melted and covered Iowa by the time that ever happens. But, on the other hand, seeing this argument in a conservative publication makes perfect sense: After all, what principle is more conservative than making sure the government stays the hell out of people's homes? When you think about it, the government telling gay people they can't get married isn't all that different from the government telling everyone they have to buy health insurance.
What these pioneering states should show us is that gay marriage is not the end of the world, but rather a positive change that provides a symbol of commitment and love to gay and lesbian couples, as well as a substantial benefit to the economies and budgets of those states. In 2004, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Missouri could learn something from its neighbor to the North.