BY JAMES NIMMO
Just when is a civil right such as marriage equality recognized as inviolable or left to remain squashed by religious dogma and social tradition?
How can some states in a federal union deny some rights to its residents while other states recognize that same right freely and made operable by crossing a state line?
In the U.S. allegedly settled decisions can be changed but often take generations to do so. Plessy v. Ferguson  that made separate but equal the law of the land for generations was overturned by Brown v. Board of Education . The Dred Scott decision of 1857 that kept slaves as property was overturned by a civil war.
People’s lives and deaths go on regardless of the isolated status of court judges, and in that short space of time we have alive the most must be made of it.
Devoted gay and lesbian couples can certainly maintain their allegiance without the flowery certificates issued by the states, but they also need the legal security and financial benefits that can only come from state recognition.
– James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is an occasional contributor to The Oklahoma Observer
Editor’s Note: A new study released today by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute estimates Oklahoma could generate $20.5 million in spending to the state economy if it extended marriage to same-sex couples.
“This study confirms that all Oklahomans benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” says M.V. Lee Badgett, Williams distinguished scholar.
According to a news release, key findings include:
– 3,067 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Oklahoma.
– The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $20.5 million to the state and local economy of Oklahoma over the course of three years, with a $13.1 million boost in the first year alone.
– This economic boost would add $1.8 million in sales tax revenue to state and local coffers.
– Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could generate up to 224 full and part-time jobs in the state.
The study is available at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/OK-Econ-Impact-Aug-2014.pdf