A number of experts in law and state politics have written to emphasize the enormous slog that lies ahead for proponents of marriage equality. As a lawyer who knows a bit about politics I share their concerns. But employing my economics “hat” I wish to offer this encouragement – we have passed the tipping point in economics that ensures eventual success in securing marriage equality throughout the United States.
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have reached the decision to allow full marriage equality for same-sex couples. As the chart I prepared shows, those jurisdictions represent nearly 38% of the total U.S. population and over 43% of total GDP. Marriage equality is now a normal aspect of life for an enormous share of our total U.S. population.
The demographic trends that favor the future expansion of marriage equality are well-known, but I write to emphasize the role that economics will play in brining marriage equality even to the states that most vociferously oppose equality. Economics and demographics both play a major role in shaping destiny, and they will combine to push in the direction of marriage equality. For all the talk about small businesses, the high-paying jobs that even Texas covets are disproportionately in big business and the elite professions. The elite professionals already locate overwhelmingly in states that provide marriage equality.