A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage will be on the ballot next fall. Between now and then, voters will be barraged with ads, opinion pieces, and direct mail opposing and favoring the effort.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, fired an early shot in the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Those who argue that banning same-sex marriage will be bad for the economy are wrong, he wrote in a November 21, 2011, opinion piece.
"To the contrary, the facts show that states with a marriage protection amendment are our top performing economic states," he wrote. "For example, eight of the top 10 'best states for business' according to a survey of 556 CEO's by Chief Executive Magazine have a state marriage amendment in their constitution. "
Drazkowski's claim is misleading.
Chief Executive Magazine surveyed 556 chief executive officers who rank the best states for business.
It's true that eight out of the top 10 states listed in the survey have constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage.
But Chief Executive Magazine Editor JP Donlon said that Drazkowski is wrong to link a ban on same-sex marriage to economic performance.
"We neither looked or thought about such a correlation because it doesn't have a bearing on a state's performance one way or another," Donlon said.
Rather, the survey asked the CEOs questions about taxes and regulatory issues, quality of workers and living environment in each state.
It's also useful to look at other rankings. For example, Forbes Magazine released its list in November, and it includes Iowa, where same-sex marriage is allowed. A recent study conducted by the Williams Institute found that legal same-sex marriage boosted the wedding and tourism industries in Iowa by upwards of $13 million.
That's not to say that families aren't important to the economy, said Skip Burzumato, assistant director of The National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. Drazkowski also cites one of the Marriage Project's recent papers in his op-ed.
The project has found that "when children are raised in intact, married families, they cost the state less," Burzumato said. "They require special education at a lower rate and they encounter the criminal justice system at a lower rate."
But the group hasn't looked at how same-sex families affect the economy.
Mark Regnerus, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin has just started looking at how children of same-sex parents fare. He said it's too soon to tell whether their employment futures, for instance, are any better or worse than those who grow up with opposite-sex parents.
"In general, stable parental marriage is good for subsequent personal employment of the children [as adults]," he said. "If gay marriage fostered the same stable traits that now occur in married, mom/dad families, then it would foster greater employment. It is, of course, too soon to say whether gay marriages will closely mimic straight ones. Maybe; maybe not."
Drazkowski's claim is misleading. While eight of Chief Executive Magazine's top 10 states best for business have constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage, there's no correlation between the bans and the business ranking.
The Red Wing Republican Eagle, Column: Citizens should favor marriage amendment, by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Nov. 21, 2011 (subscription only)
Chief Executive, Best/Worst States for Business, by JP Donlon, May 3, 2011
Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 32, accessed Dec. 9, 2011
Florida Constitution, Article 1, Section 27, accessed Dec. 9, 2011
Georgia Constitution, Article 1, Section IV, accessed Dec. 9, 2011
Virginia Constitution, Article 1, Section 15-A, accessed Dec. 9, 2011
South Carolina Constitution, Article XVII, Section 15, Dec. 9, 2011
Utah Constitution, Article 1, Section 29, Dec. 9, 2011
Nevada Constitution, Article 1, Section 21, Dec. 9, 2011
ABC News, Gay Marriage Has Boosted Iowa's Economy, Study Concludes, by Elizabeth Hartfield, Dec. 8, 2011
The Williams Institute, Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage Equality in Iowa: Sales Tax, December 2011
Interview, JP Donlon, editor, Chief Executive Magainze, Dec. 8, 2011
Interview, Skip Burzumato, Assistant Director, The National Marriage Project, Dec. 9, 2011
E-mail exchange, Mark Regnerus, associate professor, University of Texas at Austin, Dec. 9, 2011
E-mail exchange, Jason Wenisch, spokesman, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Dec. 9, 2011
" While eight of Chief Executive Magazine's top 10 states best for business have constitutional amendments that ban same-sex marriage, there's no correlation between the bans and the business ranking."
Well yes, there is a correlation. That it wasn't a criteria in the survey is irrelevant,
The real factual inaccuracy is claiming the survey represented a measure of "performance". It didn't. It measured the opinions of of 506 CEO's. Its a group of relatively conservative business people who believe the best business environment is in states whose conservative policies match their politics. Its not a coincidence that states with political climates also have laws against marriage. Which probably explains why there is a correlation.
But that is my opinion. You are entitled to yours, but that is all it is. Your opinion. And I doubt it is coincidence that it likely reflects the opinions of your listeners, just as Fox reflects the opinions of its listeners. And the CEO survey reflects the opinions of Chief Executive Magazines readers.
The problem is virtually all our information is filtered to build an audience.
This PoliGraph, in fact, is misleading. Though I'm a strong supporter of marriage equality, Drazkowski's statement was perfectly correct. It's your opinion that the two factors aren't linked, but you present no evidence for your position other than the absence of evidence his position. Who are you to say he's any less right than you are? For shame, NPR.
Another Poligraph misses the mark. Too bad, this would be such a good concept if done right.
Drazkowski made a claim and presented no evidence of correlation because there isn't any.
This is a common GOP tactic. A few years ago they were making noise about how Minnesota businesses were going to flee to the booming tax havens of Arizona, Florida and Nevada. Now they're beset by high unemployment, massive numbers of foreclosed houses and underperforming schools.
It's not on MPR or anyone else to prove a negative.
To say that Drazkowski's statement was "true but lacking value" would be one thing (in fact, I'd approve and agree!). To say it's "misleading" just doesn't seem correct.
"It's your opinion that the two factors aren't linked, but you present no evidence for your position other than the absence of evidence his position. Who are you to say he's any less right than you are? For shame, NPR."
WRONG! That's not how science works. It's up to the person making the claim that their position is true, not for someone to prove their position false (because it can't be done, you can't prove a negative.) Drazkowski is throwing a stat out there that doesn't really make any sense. And when it comes to misleading by statistics, this is my new favorite article to point to: http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/12/11/infograph-of-the-year-correlation-and-causation/
For Drazkowski to make the point implied causation, but since he offers no evidence, his claim is unsupported. Given he thought the pile of snow dumped in the capitol Sears parking lot disproved global warming, I doubt he has a clue what we're talking about.
By the way, did the bottom 10 states have a marriage ban too?
sorry about the multiple comments. I received error messages when submitting.