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Same sex marriage as an economic issue

Thursday, Sep 5, 2013

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* The first time I ever heard tourism used in a pro-same sex marriage argument was more than five years ago. Since then, other Midwestern states, such as Iowa and Minnesota, have legalized same sex marriage. So if there is any part of this story that is surprising to me, then it is that something like this did not happen sooner…

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, who recently married 46 same-sex couples following his state’s passage of a law legalizing gay weddings, will appear in a predominantly gay Chicago neighborhood Thursday to launch a campaign called “Marry Me in Minneapolis.” He plans to follow with campaigns in Colorado and Wisconsin, two other states that haven’t approved same-sex marriage.

Rybak is trying to convince Chicagoans that rather than take a long — and expensive — plane trip to one of the coasts, just drive six hours to his city.

One has to wonder if this will ignite similar campaigns by officials from cities even closer to Illinois than Minneapolis, like Des Moines or even Davenport.

I suppose some were expecting the Governor to be more upset with this campaign, and treat it like a Scott Walker or Rick Perry poaching blitz. But the Governor has lobbied for SSM since he signed the civil unions bill, and this campaign isn’t trying to pry dollars out of the Illinois economy like Walker/Perry. These are dollars, as the Governor and Mayor Emanuel stated, that Illinois is simply missing out on…

The mayor, governor and Chicago tourism advocates cited the potential economic impact of legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, singling out a UCLA School of Law Williams Institute study.
That organization’s study estimated that Illinois’ wedding business would grow by $74 million during the first three years of legalized same-sex marriages. It also would generate $29 million in tourism dollars from out-of-town guests and boost state and local tax revenues by $8.5 million.

The Governor also blamed Republicans for not putting enough votes on the SSM bill in the House this spring. But as you know, and as subscribers know a little bit better, the HGOP not putting up votes was not the only reason that bill was not called for a vote.

*Bruce Rauner stood by his previous statements about same sex marriage during a radio interview yesterday…

Rauner: I will never…I have not supported gay marriage, and I will never advocate for it. What I’ve said is this should be decided through a voter referendum, and I will support what the voters decide through a referendum. If the majority of voters want to accept gay marriage, I will support them in that decision. If the voters through a referendum decide they don’t want to accept gay marriage, that’s what I will support.

Go listen to the whole thing if you’re not on a state computer. Rauner’s remarks about gay marriage start at about the 6:30 minute mark. The first half of the interview is devoted to his Legislative and veto override proposal.

* Speaking of which, Both Gov. Quinn and Kirk Dillard came out against the Rauner term limit proposal yesterday. First from the Governor…

“The Illinois Constitution was adopted by the people of Illinois in a referendum, and they decided — in their wisdom — that to override a veto it takes three-fifths of the members of the General Assembly,” Quinn says. “So I think that’s a pretty important provision … (and) I don’t think there’s a need to change that.”

Quinn says he also doesn’t see the need for another aspect of the plan, which would increase the number of representatives in the Illinois House, while decreasing the number of state senators.

And Sen. Dillard…

“I think it’s a real slap in the face to downstate Illinois to downsize the state Senate because the districts become so geographically large, your chances of having input face to face to your state senator are greatly diminished,” Dillard says.


* Bruce Rauner invites Gov. Quinn to join fight for term limits

* Martin: With term limits, boot out career pols

* Schoenburg: Rauner says tenure for college profs a ‘flawed concept’

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        

  1. - RNUG - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    It’s always been an economic issue also. That’s why Illinois’ Civil Unions aren’t good enough; they aren’t recognized by the Feds as marriages for tax purposes.

    Now it’s also a tourism business opportunity.

    And, being somewhat cynical about marriage in general (divorced once and happily remarried for many years), soon it could be an opportunity for divorce lawyers to expand their clientele.

  2. - shore - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    weak sauce from Rauner. The media needs to learn the lesson of the scott lee cohen/walsh debacles of 2010 and really take the screws to any candidate who hasn’t run several times before. That means Rauner, Daley, these lit gov candidates and on and on. I’ve been harsh on Dillard, but he’s a known quantity largely, Rauner is not and with the $ avalanche rich has said he’s about to unleash they need to up the pressure early.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    That Farmer Bruce sure is a profile in courage, isn’t he?

  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:18 pm:

    Davenport’s a fun town. So is Iowa City. Des Moines is not worth the extra miles.

  5. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Rauner’s comments are a complete dodge. What a coward. In Illinois, we do not have referenda on issues like this. Illinois is not California, thank god.

    Someone needs to call Rauner out on this dodge. He is ignoring the Illinois constitution.

  6. - Miguel - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    It would be nice to see GOP candidates stop pandering to the Evangelicals on every single social issue.

  7. - Ready To Get Out - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    I love Rauner’s comment “Nobody in the real world has a job for life….”

    Guess the Supreme Court is not in the “real” world?

  8. - Demoralized - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 1:19 pm:

    ==“Nobody in the real world has a job for life….”==

    Rich people like Rauner make sure of that. You can have an attitude like that when you are rich.

  9. - OldSmoky2 - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    That’s just a total cop-out on same-sex marriage by Rauner. So he’s saying that out of all the issues in this state - the budget, taxes, pension reform, fracking, etc. - same-sex marriage is so momentous that it must be decided by referendum? What he’s really saying is that he thinks he can skirt this question with a gutless position he hopes won’t alienate voters on both sides. For all the criticism he gets from Rauner about his leadership qualities, even Pat Quinn is willing to take a position and defend it.

  10. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Sep 5, 13 @ 8:58 pm:

    Every week that goes by, I dislike Rauner more and more.

  11. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Sep 6, 13 @ 12:16 am:

    If Rauner would read the tenure law, he would know it does not guarantee employment for life. It just ensures due process prior to dismissal.

  12. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Sep 6, 13 @ 1:00 am:

    “If Rauner would read the tenure law, he would know it does not guarantee employment for life. It just ensures due process prior to dismissal.”

    Wait, wait, wait, you mean just because ol’ Brucie boy did well in one business doesn’t mean he is a generally intelligent person?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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