States That Ban Gay Marriage Dominate CNBC's 'Best Business' List

States that ban same-sex marriage either by law or by constitutional amendment made up the top 10 best states for business, according to CNBC.

In recently released numbers, the annual report found that in 2013 the top 10 states for business were, in order, South Dakota, Texas, North Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, Georgia, Wyoming and Idaho.

The highest ranked state on the list for 2013 with legalized same sex marriage was Iowa, at number 11, and number 50 on the list, Hawaii, recently legalized gay marriage.

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"We scored all 50 states on 51 measures of competitiveness developed with input from business groups including the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric," reads the CNBC online list.

"Then, we separated those metrics into 10 broad categories, weighting the categories based on how frequently they are cited in state economic development marketing materials. That way, our study ranks the states based on the criteria they use to sell themselves."

The categories were "cost of doing business," "economy," "infrastructure," "workforce," "quality of life," "technology and innovation," "business friendliness," "education," "cost of living" and "access to capital."

Brian Brown, president of the anti-gay marriage group National Organization for Marriage, told The Christian Post that "there is no compelling evidence suggesting a link between greater fiscal achievement in a state and redefining marriage."

"What we do know is that the institution of marriage between one man and one woman is a sound policy, both economically and otherwise," said Brown.

"Marriage unites men and women together in love and codifies their responsibility to any children born of their union. Protecting marriage reduces the social costs -- costs which are passed on to taxpayers -- that have indisputably been demonstrated to result from the breakdown of the family."

Economically beneficial?

One of the arguments put forth by proponents of same-sex marriage is that legalizing the institution will bring economic benefits to a state.

For example, during the debate in 2011 over legalizing gay marriage in New York, New York City officials claimed that such a move would bring in $180 million of revenue into the state over the next three years.

A 2008 study for California by the Williams Institute reported by The Associated Press claimed that legalization would bring "$684 million on flowers, cakes, hotels, photographers and other wedding services over the next three years."

"…[T[he researchers project that about half of the state's more than 100,000 same-sex couples will get married and another 68,000 out-of-state couples will travel to California to exchange vows. The nuptial rush is expected to create some 2,200 jobs," continued the AP.

Critics like Adam Kolasinski of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argued that same-sex marriage was harmful to the economy since homosexuality cannot create a viable workforce.

"Homosexual relationships do nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society, so there is no reason for the state to grant them the costly benefits of marriage, unless they serve some other state interest," wrote Kolasinski in 2004.

Changing situations

Since the United States Supreme Court case Windsor v. United States struck down a key component of the Defense of Marriage Act, there has been an upswing in the efforts to legalize gay marriage.

Several states have attempted to do so either through the legislature or via lawsuits. These changes are occurring to some on the top 10 of the CNBC list.

Virginia and Utah, two states listed in the top 10, both have had their constitutional bans on same-sex marriage declared unconstitutional by judges over the past few months. Both decisions are being appealed.

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