Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Last Week's Las Vegas Weekly Column

Sorry, I didn't post this last week for some odd reason. Here's this week's Las Vegas Weekly column, looking at all the money Las Vegas has lost because Nevadans banned same-sex marriage.

Nevada's gay duh
Leaving millions on the table in the name of -- ready for it? -- morality


Next week, when Californians start allowing same-sex couples to legally marry as a result of a recent state Supreme Court ruling, the Golden State will reap a massive financial bonanza that should go a long way through the summer toward softening the harshest impacts of an ongoing recession and record fuel prices.

Over the border in Nevada, the folks running those little gambling joints along Las Vegas Boulevard will meanwhile be crying in their red-state beers. Because of the utter hypocrisy, stupidity and basic mean-spiritedness of the Silver State’s electorate, Las Vegas will miss out on untold millions of dollars in tourism spending that could’ve been for being on the forefront of the coming gay-marriage tsunami. If there’s anything casino bosses despise, it’s leaving money on the table.

This column is not about the morality of same-sex marriage. Of course, I know well from personal experience that two men or two women can love one another as honorably or dishonorably as any man and woman. The notion that any couple’s relationship has a bearing on the validity and strength of anyone else’s lives is so idiotic on its face that it doesn’t even deserve a serious response.

Nor ought it be necessary to note that for 70 percent of the voters in a state that has done more historically to undermine the sanctity of marriage than any other locale in human history to believe they have a moral imperative to protect children from having two moms but not prostitution and bare asses on taxi cabooses is so laughable that I urge you to stop reading now if you don’t see why. I don’t want such morons in my audience.

Yet, voters here in two successive elections did just that, the rigamarole required to alter the Nevada Constitution. For the first time, the document had discrimination added to it.

No, this column is about the cost that that irresponsible and bigoted decision has wrought on the state.

“We estimate that over the next three years, the California decision will generate $700 million in spending on weddings, so obviously Nevada is missing out on a piece of that pie,” said Gary Gates of the University of California School of Law, who studies the demographics of American gays. “We estimate that this will add more than $50 million in taxes to the state’s coffers and create more than 2,000 jobs. The unique position in Nevada is that Vegas is clearly known for weddings. That’s an easy fit.”

Or it would’ve been.

Read the rest here