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Jamestown has benefited from doing the right thing

Marriage equality went into effect more than two years ago. During that time it has been my pleasure as a city marriage officer to perform sometimes as many as 10 same-sex marriages per week. Couples have come to Jamestown from 20 different states and every continent in the world. My goal was to make Jamestown a same-sex marriage destination, and we have succeeded.

Couples stay in hotels, eat at restaurants and reserve local venues for receptions, including the Lucy-Desi Museum. Doing what is right has been good for business without the city having to spend a dime on promotion but relying on word of mouth. Every couple has remarked to me how friendly everyone in Jamestown has been and how warmly they have been received, resulting in referrals to their friends to get married in Jamestown by an openly gay city councilman.

In addition, we have been fighting poverty by waiving my fee and asking the couples to donate to St. Susan’s Center, our local soup kitchen, providing hundreds of meals each week to Jamestown residents in need. The couples have been very generous, writing checks in 100, 200 and 300 dollar amounts. This is all out-of-state money. I drop hundreds of dollars off to St. Susan’s each week without it having to do anything other than continue its good work.

I knew marriage equality was the right thing to do, and thanks to everyone in Jamestown and beyond, it has turned out to be a good thing as well.

I bring this up not to brag about my work but to celebrate this community and the wonderful loving gay and lesbian couples it has been my pleasure to bring together in marriage celebrating their love. Merry Christmas!

Gregory Rabb

President

Jamestown City Council