Minnesota Businesses Pushing for Marriage Equality in 2013

On Wednesday, a collection of Minnesotan business leaders published a full page ad in newspapers across the state in support of marriage equality. The ad was published in partnership with Minnesotans United. Last year, MNUnited helped to successfully defeat an amendment to the state constitution which would've banned marriages of same-sex couples. This year the push is to legalize marriage equality in the state.

In part the ad reads: "Minnesota's largest and most successful companies have been the nation's leaders in creating diverse workplaces and extending family benefits to domestic partners. This leadership has made our community a strong magnet for attracting and retaining the nation's top talent."

On Tuesday, the Williams Institute of UCLA published a study which estimated that marriage equality would dramatically boost the economy of the state. They predict that in the first three years, weddings between same-sex couples would add around $42 million to state and local economies. There would also, according to the study, be an additional $3 million in tax revenue over the same three years. The study did not even account for same-sex couples from out of state coming to Minnesota to get married.

Former Republican leader of the Minnesota Senate and President of the Minnesota Business Partnership, Duane Benson, filmed a video as part of MN United's "Vote No" campaign last year. In the video, Benson says, "I think what business will be hesitant about [in voting for the ban] is to send a message to their potential recruits or even the people that are currently work in their companies that that says, 'you're not welcome here' and I don't think any of them want to say you're not welcome."

The MN United ad closes by saying, "We urge the legislature to reaffirm Minnesota's leadership in equality and economic opportunity by passing legislation in 2013 that ensures gay and lesbian Minnesotans, at long last, have the freedom to marry the person they love."