A border battle brewing for the gay-marriage dollar?


Since 2009, Iowa has enjoyed a certain status as the only Midwestern state to allow same-sex marriages. Now, with the Minnesota law legalizing gay marriage set to go into effect Aug. 1, both states are gearing up for expected changes in their respective economies.

If those changes do materialize. The Associated Press takes a look at the potential impact on each state, concluding (not very helpfully, alas) that "how this shift will impact the Iowa wedding industry is hard to predict."

But the story does good digging on the numbers. Iowa was the 3rd state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriages; Minnesota is the 12th.

One institute study says $12 million was spent on gay weddings and related tourism in Iowa during the first year it was available. An estimated $4.6 million of that was generated by out-of-state couples. Of the 1,302 same-sex weddings in Iowa in 2011 -- the most recent year with data available -- 955 were couples that reside outside the state, according to state data.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman sees the economic benefit, saying, "Weddings are a good business."

As for competition between the states, that's a little harder to discern. One prominent Iowa gay activist doesn't think Minnesota's law will affect the Iowa gay economy that much.

But the AP concludes that some Minnesota destinations want in on the action, and promotion is in motion.

"We're Midwesterners, " says Adam Johnson, vice president of visit St. Paul. "It's all friendly competition."

Next Up

Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph sends farewell to Vikings fans in Players Tribune piece

"Every season I played here, every game I played here — you all believed."

Megan Ryan

Star Tribune's Megan Ryan named new Twins beat reporter

Ryan replaces LaVelle E. Neal who is now in a columnist role.

minnetonka MME

Minnetonka in spotlight after teacher threatened for discussing Black trans woman

Parents and community members are calling on the district to do better and will hold a march prior to the school board meeting on Thursday.

Richard Pitino

Talk grows that this season will be Pitino's last at Gophers

A report says Pitino's tenure could be "down to his final games."

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 1.40.17 PM

Two gas trucks collide in Stearns County, neither explodes

The unlikely collision happened Monday afternoon.

unnamed (1)

MSP Airport expecting spring break to be busiest period since pandemic began

Passenger numbers will still be about a third lower than a year ago, though.

Target store

After bumper earnings, Target will accelerate new store openings

The retailer has revealed its plans for the next few years, which includes an investment in Minneapolis.

starbucks wayzata

100% plant-based restaurant coming to Wayzata this spring

The restaurant has plans to add additional locations in Minnesota this summer and franchise nationwide.

Patric Richardson

'Laundry Evangelist' from St. Paul gets his own Discovery+ show

Patric Richardson has built a career around the appreciation and care of clothing.


Gay marriage supporters rallying

St. Paul-area Lutherans assembling in Burnsville, and separately, Gov. Mark Dayton and other activists holding "house parties" around the state, demonstrated their opposition to an amendment to the state Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.