News that Tasmania, the island state off Australia’s southeast coast, would begin recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere was met with a bittersweet reaction this week: the government still wasn’t going to recognize those types of unions if performed within its own borders. (Thanks, Julia Gillard!) So why open yourselves up to foreign gays but not your own? To lure you there.
Not as tourists, but as permanent residents. Jenara Nerenberg notes Tasmania’s Liberal Party unveiled a plan this year on how they would boost their population by 70,000 people in the coming years. And it involves paying people to move there; $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for couples, so long as you’re under 45 and can get a job.
“It’s just a matter of time,” writes Nerenberg, “before they say, outright, that they want more gay residents. Afterall, the gay community has long been known to be an extremely lucrative market.” Not that Tasmanian officials are saying their gay marriage move is an attempt to lure homos there. But you don’t have to be a policy expert to know once the gays move in and spruce things up, everyone wants to move there.
But who says this is a bad thing? When’s the last time anybody came up to you and offered you cash to recognize your marriage?