Oh, time to panic. Thomson Reuters is the latest company to come out against Minnesota’s proposed marriage amendment:
We believe the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, if passed, would limit our ability to recruit and retain top talent. For this reason, we do not believe that the Amendment would be good for Thomson Reuters or the business community in the state.
…nine out of ten of the top states for business (according to a new CNBC ranking) have marriage amendments [banning same-sex marriage].
I’ve previously taken a swipe at NOM’s ludicrous and simplistic analysis. Business climate depends on a myriad of factors (tax policy? cheap labor?) and no one claims that marriage equality alone will wholly determine a state’s ranking. I even pointed out that 4 of the 5 healthiest states recognize same-sex marriage — which, if you credit this sort of flawed analysis, should make our opponents think twice before crying out that we’re promoting an unhealthy homosexual lifestyle.
But Maggie has inexplicably ignored my advice (I’m hurt, Maggie, hurt) and she keeps promoting this ridiculous proof-by-ranking analysis. So I decided to do a little ranking of my own.
Wikipedia has categorized the 50 states according to their marriage laws. I compared those groups based on:
- Per capita income in 2010
- Projected 2013 median income for a 4-person household
- Percentage of population living in poverty in 2010
Guess how those rankings turned out:
I swear, those were the only three measures I checked. The results were remarkably consistent and the conclusion is obvious: same-sex marriage increases income and lowers poverty.
Wait — no, no, no, no, no. It doesn’t say that at all. Real life is much more complicated, and correlation is not causation. Probably what’s going on here is that factors (like education) which lead to higher income are also correlated with support for marriage equality. Just as opposition to marriage equality is correlated with the same conservative demographic that creates a pro-business economic climate.
Think of it like this: Men are more likely than women to arm wrestle drunk and to get testicular cancer. That doesn’t mean drunk arm wrestling causes testicular cancer, just that it’s correlated with it.
But NOM isn’t going to make fine logical distinctions like that. Or even broad ones. And they’re certainly not going to give up their silly ranking argument. So I have to wonder: how will they respond to this? I’d love to hear NOM’s steel-trap brainiacs: “Uh, we said marriage amendments are good for businesses, not for people. Oh, and businesses are people. So there!”
But that’s a pipe dream. We’d never hear anything so honest from NOM.
Note: To get these figures, I simply averaged the numbers for each group of states, without weighting the states by population. For the purposes of this faux-analysis, the number of people in each state did not matter, or any other factor except each state’s marriage law.