Throwing Shade

Want to stimulate the Coast's economy? Legalize gay marriage.

A modern parking garage in Bay St. Louis. A Southern mansion in Pass Christian. A historic beachfront oak tree in Long Beach. A beautiful plantation with a grass lawn in Gulfport. A swanky hotel in Biloxi. A train depot in Ocean Springs. The Old Place in Gautier.

There are dozens of spots to accommodate wedding parties of any size across the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Some are romantically Southern Mississippi, and others are innovative and modern. Bay St. Louis officials said that many out-of-towners book weddings at the Bay St. Louis Community Center months in advance.

Tying the knot in South Mississippi benefits local economy. Now, imagine if every South Mississippian were able to marry at one of these venues regardless of sexual orientation.

Waveland Mayor David Garcia made headlines when he became the first mayor in the state to publicly support same-sex marriage. Garcia told the Sun Herald he thought every person should be able to marry who they love and that the extra weddings could generate some money for the city.

In August, Sun Herald writer Patrick Ochs reported 17 couples from nine Mississippi counties planned to participate in the Campaign for Southern Equality’s statewide day of action for marriage equality by recording their out-of-state marriage licenses at their local chancery court offices as part of the public record.

What if all South Mississippi mayors followed the word of Garcia? What if all Coastians were allowed to actually marry rather than just have their marriages recorded? I can only imagine how much I’ll spend on my hypothetical wedding.

Gay marriage is a win-win for the people and the economy of South Mississippi.