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Marriage Equality Good for Economy

Same-sex marriage would add $181 million to state, local economy
Mary Tuma, 2:35pm, Wed. Jul. 23

Is legalizing same-sex marriage in Texas not only equity, but good fiscal sense? A new report seems to think so.

If Texas granted marriage equality, the state would experience an “economic boost” from wedding spending and out-of-state guest purchases, according to a recent study conducted by the UCLA Law-based Williams Institute. Spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by same-sex couples and guests would generate an estimated $181.6 million to the state and local economy over the course of three years, with a $116.2 million surge in just the first year alone.

It would add $14.8 million in sales tax revenue to state and local funds and would create 523 to 1,570 full- and part-time jobs in the state. Based on 2010 U.S. Census Data, researches estimate that 50% of the 46,401 same-sex couples living in Texas (23,209), would choose to marry within the first three years, if Texas granted them the right to do so.

Connecticut, Vermont, and New York have drawn similar findings on the economic benefits of legalizing marriage equality. And the Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal economic impact of extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would result in an increase of $1 billion each year.

In February, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, but stayed the ruling from taking effect pending an appeal. Some five months later, Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office – expected to appeal the ruling – has yet to file its brief. After two extension requests, the appeal brief is officially due Monday. The case, De Leon v. Perry, was brought forth by two same-sex couples (including one lesbian couple from Austin) who either wanted their lawful marriages recognized in Texas or wanted to be wed in their home state.

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