Marriage Equality: Connecticut does well by doing good

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"When the Connecticut Supreme Court legalized the freedom to marry two years ago this month, the justices didn't have their eyes on the cash register. They — and lawmakers who ratified the decision later — were simply making sure that all residents of the state were equal before the law in the matter of marriage rights.

"Still, the court's landmark decision has turned out to be a boon for Connecticut's wedding industry. Two years on, it's estimated that 2,500 gay and lesbian couples have traveled to Connecticut to be wed — generating a $40 million windfall for restaurants, hotels, inns, wedding photographers and planners, florists, caterers and the like.

"Not a bad gain in a down economy.

"The visitors — from all parts of the country and some from abroad — are impressed by Connecticut's beautiful scenery and nice wedding locations, the friendly town clerks who issue licenses, no waiting period and easy access from transportation hubs.

"Marriage for same-sex couples is also legal in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Iowa and Washington, D.C.  But Connecticut seems to have a leg up, establishing a reputation for doing it right.

"Perhaps slowly, but inevitably, same-sex couples across the land will gain the marriage rights that for so long have been denied them. But Connecticut, creating memorable wedding experiences from the start, can still be a destination."

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