For the umpteenth time he reiterated to ABC6 that same-sex marriage will help improve the Rhode Island economy.
While there are many interesting arguments in the gay marriage debate, I always found this one the most questionable.
One assumption is that people will hold same-sex weddings and receptions in Rhode Island thus benefiting local business. It's a novel idea and there is likely to be some boost to business, however, the people that will almost certainly benefit the most is divorce attorneys.
I hate to be a "Debbie downer" at a time when we are celebrating equal rights and love but let's be realistic. More than half of all marriages end in divorce, this will likely stand true for same-sex couples who will have the same marital struggles as straight couples because after all we are all burdened with the same fundamental flaw; we are only human.
Thus a new industry will emerge: same-sex divorce. While we would assume, and hope, that a same-sexed divorce would be the same as a "traditional" divorce we can so assume that some shark-like attorney will milk the industry for all they can. "I specialize in "same-sex" divorce."
Think about it: same-sexed divorce would introduce new legal questions that may have not been dealt with in this state before.
Not to further dampen the party but the economic benefit to local business is unlikely to be that lucrative either. Most of us Rhode Islanders don't like to get married in Rhode Island. Let's be honest, we like to ship up to Boston or the Cape or have a destination wedding just to get us the "heck out" of Rhode Island.
In the end it all comes down to we are all people, gay or straight, and we are all Rhode Islanders with similar mentalities. Although we all love RI we also all love leaving RI for any occasion we can find, even if it's just a trip to nearby Massachusetts.
Will same-sexed marriage be the economic bastion that the Governor says it will be? Probably not, but that really doesn't change much in the overall debate.
There are many other valid points that seem less impractical than gay marriage as a beacon of economic hope for a struggling economy. So why it is that the Governor has been stuck on the economic benefits of same-sexed marriage since his inauguration. When most people are discussing human rights the Governor is seeing dollar signs.
One way state revenues WILL benefit is that same-sexed couples will be exposed to the same scam straight couples have to buy into: marriage-licenses. Who ever heard of getting a license to be in love? Bureaucracy that's who.
Either way, no matter which side of the argument you are on the "financial benefit" seems to be one of the most superficial arguments in one of the biggest debates of this decade. It is a debate about human rights and morality, not about how to make a buck for the state.
Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.