Extending Marriage To Same-Sex Couples Could Bring Millions To State

By BTL Staff

The Williams Institute reports that an estimated $53.2 million in spending could come to Michigan's economy from the legalization of same-sex marriage. A new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett, Williams Senior Counsel Christy Mallory and Williams Gleason Kettel Summer Fellow, Justin M. O'Neill, predicted the economical trend.

"This study confirms that all Michiganders benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community," said Badgett.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 14,598 same-sex couples live in Michigan. Of those couples, the Institute estimates over 4,671 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring millions in revenue to the state of Michigan.

Key findings of the study included estimated sales tax revenue, how many same-sex couples could marry and more. For instance, the study predicts that 7,299 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Michigan. As a result of these couples marrying, the total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by Michigan's same-sex couples and their guests could add an estimated $53.2 million to the state and local economy during the first three years of same-sex marriage legalization. $34.1 million of that money would be in the first year alone. This economic boost would add $3.2 million in sales tax revenue for Michigan.

Mallory noted, "Study after study has demonstrated that, in addition to significant revenue, marriage for same-sex couples also creates new jobs." The study's findings estimate up to 457 full and part-time jobs generated from the potential increased spending.

Analyses for the study were informed by the methodology that the Williams Institute has used in previous studies of the economic impact of marriage in a number of other states. State-level data, 2010 Census data and American Community Survey data were all used to estimate the economic impact of extending marriage to same-sex couples in Michigan. Estimates do not take into account the impact of same-sex couples from other states who will travel to Michigan to marry.

Find the report on line at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/MI-Econ-Impact-Aug-2014.pdf.

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