But if jobs and the economy are the Speaker’s focus, he might be pleased to learn that legalizing same-sex marriage has had a strong positive impact on state and local economies, brought in money for tourism, lodging and wedding planning, and offered much-needed relief to state budgets:
–MASSACHUSETTS: A 2009 study found that “marriages have had a positive economic effect on Massachusetts -– likely providing a boost of over $100 million to the state economy.” “Same-sex couples’ weddings injected significant spending into the Massachusetts economy and brought out-of-state guests to the state, whose spending also added to the economic boost,” it concluded.
–IOWA: Last year, a study found that same-sex marriages brought as much as $13 million in new spending to Iowa in the year since the state Supreme Court overturned a ban.
–MARYLAND: A report last month from the Maryland Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce found that the recently passed marriage equality law could boost the state’s economy by $90 million a year if it survives a November referendum.
–ILLINOIS: In March, a study from the Williams Institute predicted that legalizing marriage equality would boost Illinois’ economy by between $39 and $72 million over three years, and bring in as much as $8 million in tax revenue.
–NEW JERSEY: The Williams Institute also found that legalizing marriage equality in New Jersey could add $119 million to the state’s economy over three years, along with $8 million in tax revenue.
–RHODE ISLAND: One state that has not legalized same-sex marriage, Rhode Island, could be losing as much as $8 million a year. Why? Because same-sex couples simply travel to Massachusetts to get married. Rhode Island recognizes same-sex marriages from out of state but only allows civil unions within its borders.
– NATIONALLY: A CBO report found that repealing DOMA could actually improve the federal budget by just under $1 billion in each of the next ten years, but only if marriage equality was legal in all fifty states and recognized by the federal government.