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Gay Marriage Makes Good Business Sense

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With politicians shifting positions daily, the gay marriage debate is over. It's been the most significant civil rights discussion since the feminist, bra-burning era of the 1970's and as with feminism, there really hasn't been any rationale to not afford equality to the LGBT community. But if at this stage gay marriage opponents, such as the GOP's Rick Santorum, are still unable to ethically support gay marriage, perhaps financial grounds will be more persuasive.

There have been few and at times absurd arguments against gay marriage, ranging from interpretations of religious doctrine to bizarre correlations of equal rights for incest, necrophilia and bestiality. But no matter the argument, if it contains the words "God," "Bible" or "faith" it is instantly void because the U.S. was founded upon a separation of church and state. Prejudices based upon an interpretation of religion are simply a violation of other citizens' rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to equality.

If, like Mr. Trump, you "just don't feel good about it," that's fine. By his own admission, living in New York, Mr. Trump takes a fair bit of heat for a stance that doesn't support gay marriage and he has a right to his views. Public opinion is changing, however, and politicians in their droves have shifted their positioning on gay marriage predominatly because they see the writing on the wall but also in part because corporate America is telling them supporting gay equality just makes good business sense.

The estimated total buying power of America's LGBT community is $790 billion. Almost the exact size of the $787 billion fiscal stimulus used to save the US economy in 2009. Ironically, it is the Republicans Senators (and some Democrats), who attempted to reject the fiscal stimulus that are failing to embrace this affluent demographic in their states. Why not court an economic stimulus that would not rely upon government funding? Mayor Bloomberg is proud of the $259 million generated in New York from the first year of same-sex marriages. "It is rare and wonderful to see social reform leading to economic profit."

Widespread legalization of gay marriage is inevitable in America. Whether the Supreme Court upholds the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act or strikes it down, both public and corporate America will regard marriage rights as a settled issue. Gay marriage has advanced not just on rational arguments of equality and common sense, but because it makes good business sense.

Sean Yazbeck is the Winner of NBC'S The Apprentice and President/CEO Wavsys-An INC 500 'Fastest Growing Company in America'