Give same-sex couples the right to marry could lead to $60 million in spending here in the commonwealth, according to a new study released by the UCLA School of Law. The study compared financial impacts from states with legal same-sex marriage and found numerous economically beneficial aspects possible for Virginia.
Key findings include:
Direct spending by resident same-sex couples on their weddings would add an estimated $39 million to $50 million to the state and local economyover the first three years.
An estimated three year total $8 million to$10 million would be spent in Virginia by out-of-state guests attending weddings of same-sex couples.
The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism would generate an additional $46 million to $60 million to the state and local economy in the first three years, with $30 million to $38.5 million generated in the first year alone.
This economic boost would likely add $2.5 million to $3.2 million tax dollars to state and local coffers.
Wedding-related spending and tourism would generate approximately 459 to595 new jobs in Virginia over the first three years.
“This report clearly shows that allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry in Virginia is not only the right thing to do, but would also have a positive impact on our economy,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia.
The future of same-sex marriage here in the commonwealth is set to be heard before the Fourth Circuit Appeals court on May 13th, and a final ruling is expected in the weeks following. No matter the outcome, many believe the Supreme Court will have the final say on the issue, with a verdict expected by summer of 2015.
Editors Note: Headline originally read $60, it should have read $60 Million. -BK