Same-sex marriage debate shows Michigan Republicans aren't pro-business



Frankly, we always knew it.

Michigan's Republican are supposed to be hugely pro-business. Their rhetoric drips with corporate buzzwords. They think in dollars and cents. Many of them are, in fact, businesspeople. And pro-business would seem to agree at least on one thing: More economic activity in the state is a good thing.

Unless, of course, that activity is related to the social issues they oppose. 

We're all well familiar with the way Lansing Republicans are generally opposed to recreational marijuana, and the way local Republicans hassle medical marijuana dispensaries. Well, medical and recreational cannabis are now doing booming business in Colorado, where the state is collecting revenues of more than $8 million a month, and the business is generating hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity. Seem like a double standard there?

But the real proof is in Lansing Republicans' stubborn opposition to same-sex marriage. 

Look at the numbers. You have a population that cannot get married. That's government dictating winners and losers. But with the stroke of a pen Michigan could inaugurate a new era of prosperity.

Consider the conservative estimate that 4,000 Michigan couples marry in the first year after it is legalized. 

The average wedding in the United States costs $25,000. Sure, many couples cheap out and spend less, but we're talking about couples that often have double incomes and no kids, and are more than ready to throw a memorable wedding to celebrate the formal acknowledgment of their love. Still, let's be conservative and say the average wedding that first year costs $20,000.

Using those numbers, you're looking at that first year generating $100,000,000 in economic activity. You'd think governors everywhere would love to announce inking a deal that would generate $100 million in business. One need only look at the host of businesses that are already gearing up for this business, from Tapper's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry announcing its Rony Tennenbaum collection to the event planners of Dream Day Weddings out in southwest Michigan, to know that this market is ready to pop

And here you have a captive market primed to disgorge tens of millions of dollars from Ferndale to Saugatuck, and what do Lansing's Republicans do? They resist unleashing the power of the free market.

So the next time that the leading lights of our state GOP talk about being business-friendly, remember this dark moment when they spend the state's money to fight the inevitable. They're not supporters of business. They're happy to hold business back, if it means scoring points against their perceived enemies.

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