Why Same-Sex Marriage Is Great for Business

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The Supreme Court made history today by legalizing gay marriage across America. This is a tremendous civil rights victory for the nation. It’s great news on a personal level for millions of Americans. And it’s positive economic news for Americans, too. I encourage you to go read Nick Hanauer and Zach Silk’s post about why diversity is good for the economy from earlier this year:

Here’s the 21st century reality: inclusion strengthens our country, our institutions, and our economy. And politicians in the twenty-one states fighting to keep their discriminatory marriage practices appear to be totally clueless about how modern technological economies work, and how extreme the competition for talented workers that drive innovation has become.

In the technological economy of the 21st century, growth and prosperity are created through a virtuous cycle between innovation and demand. Innovation is the process by which we solve all human problems, and thus raise living standards. Consumer demand is the mechanism through which markets distribute and incentivize innovation. And it is economic inclusion—the full, robust participation of as many people as possible—that drives both innovation and demand.

Innovation is an evolutionary process and, just like in the biological world, diversity is the key to evolution. The more cognitive diversity we have—the more people simultaneously approaching the same problem from as many different backgrounds and perspectives as possible—the greater the rate of innovation. It’s not how hard you try; it’s how many different ways you try to solve a problem that leads to success. Innovation is driven by differences, not sameness.

The evidence is clear: diversity does not hinder growth—it supercharges it. That has always been America’s competitive advantage: we have the most diverse workforce in the world, and for all our problems, we do a better job of integrating diversity than anyone else. Diversity is America’s most valuable resource; it is what makes us the most innovative nation on Earth.

Nobody needs another reason to celebrate today’s news, but it’s always heartening to learn that the right thing to do is also the most socially advantageous option. Go read the whole thing.

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Paul Constant
Paul Constant has written about politics, books, and film for Newsweek, The Progressive, the Utne Reader, and alternative weeklies around the country.