The discussion of indirect effects simply reflects the bias of people on this issue and hardly constitutes evidence. Those against HJR-3, and in favor of a redefinition of marriage to include same-sex marriage, argue that when this occurs, Americans will feel that Indiana is no longer in the “backwater” of U.S. culture and not being embarrassed on social media will help recruit new, imaginative people increasing productivity in the labor force. Those in favor of HJR-3, and against the re-definition of marriage, argue that the state support for traditional families will attract hard-working people with the values that “built America.” These are opinions, not facts, and there is simply no way to determine who is correct.
Finally, the debate about same-sex marriage is a demand for respect by homosexuals who ask heterosexuals to fundamentally change an institution that is thousands of years old. This is a moral and legal debate and not an economic one. The business executives and Chambers of Commerce arguing against HJR-3 are taking one side of a moral debate and trivialize the discussion by trying to assert economic effects. Gay marriage is either right or wrong regardless of its economic effect.
Charles Trzcinka is the James and Virginia Cozad Professor of Finance in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University Bloomington. His piece was first published in the Journal & Courier, Lafayette.