Lawmakers contemplate economic impact of same-sex marriage - – Rockford’s News Leader

Lawmakers contemplate economic impact of same-sex marriage


There's a renewed push to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.  House majority leader Barbara Flynn is urging state lawmakers to reconsider the bill, not just for equality purposes, but economic ones. Some people think Illinois is missing out on a big business.

There's plenty of support for the LGBT community at this Sunday afternoon rally in Rockford. But there's also still plenty of contention, that's clear after last spring when a gay marriage bill went nowhere.

"There was a lot of excitement during April and March and May. And so now folks kind of feel a little bit discouraged," says Patty Dillon, Field Director for Equality Illinois.

For same sex-couples looking tie the knot, some are currently looking beyond state lines.

Minneapolis' Mayor R.T. Ryback encourages same-sex couples to leave Illinois and travel to his town for marriage, where it's legal, and where it's bringing in plenty of cash.   
The wedding industry is a multi million dollar business.  According to, an average wedding in Winnebago County costs  between $17,000 and $29,000.
Vicki Hubbard owns Pepper Creek in Rockford, a floral and gift shop. She agrees she could be missing out on extra business. She's helped a handful of same-sex couples with commitment ceremonies, but is seeing a change.   

"We probably had more of them several years ago than we have had lately . maybe everybody's waiting for the rulings about whether they can have same-sex marriage or not," say Hubbard.

State Representative Joe Sosnowski says the chances of same-sex marriage coming up again this year is slim. He says it could be next spring at best before the topic resurfaces.

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