On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported that “out-of-staters made up 60 percent of same-sex couples married in Iowa since the state began allowing such unions in April 2009.” Of the 2,020 same-sex marriages that were recorded in Iowa from April 27, 2009 through March 31, “only 815 of the couples were from Iowa,” 199 were from Illinois, 158 from Missouri and 111 from Nebraska.
Business owners are noticing a corresponding uptick in spending and tourism and hotel owners seem particularly grateful for the Supreme Court decision. And while economic data is still unavailable, in April 2008 the Williams Institute published a study estimating that the state could see a “a $5.3 million per year net benefit of same-sex marriage.”
But at least one Iowa lawmaker isn’t happy about the increase in economic activity. Today, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) — who warned that same-sex marriage would lead to socialism — issued a statement lamenting that the 2009 Supreme Court decision has turned Iowa “into the gay marriage Mecca” and called on the legislature to institute residency requirements or a constitutional amendment to repeal it:
KING: Just over one year ago, when the Iowa Supreme Court decided to ignore Iowa law and grant same sex couples the ability to get married in our state, I predicted that the decision, absent action by the state legislature to enact a marriage license residency requirement, would turn Iowa into the gay marriage Mecca…This new report from the Department of Public Health reemphasizes the short-sightedness of the court’s decision to enact a same-sex marriage law from the bench, and it provides even more evidence of the need for a residency requirement and a constitutional amendment to repeal it.
Could it be that King doesn’t want the state profiting from same-sex marriage because it would allow gays and lesbians to wear their sexuality on their sleeves?