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Report: Marriage equality could add $92 million to Pa. economy over 3 years

Saturday, May 24, 2014
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William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, press close to one another as they apply for their marriage certificate at City Hall in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III on May 20.Matt Rourke, AP

William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, press close to one another as they apply for their marriage certificate at City Hall in Philadelphia on May 21, 2014. Pennsylvania’s ban on gay marriage was overturned by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III on May 20.

As same-sex couples in Pennsylvania celebrate a judge’s ruling striking down the state’s gay marriage ban, a new report finds that marriage equality could add as much as $92 million to the state’s economy.

Researchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimate that as many as 11,000 couples will marry in the first three years in which same-sex marriage is legal, generating between $65 million to $92.1 million, with a $42 million to $58.9 million boost in the first year alone.

The economic boost would add $4.2 million to $5.8 million in sales tax revenue to state and local coffers.

Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations would also generate 812 to 1,142 full- and part-time jobs in the state, according to the report.

The study reflects in-state couples’ spending only, and spending by out-state-couples traveling to Pennsylvania for the wedding ceremonies would be an incremental boost.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III struck down Pennsylvania’s 1996 law banning same-sex marriage, the last state in the Northeast U.S. with such a ban. The following day, Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, said he would not appeal the decision, and same-sex couples in Pennsylvania began marrying on Friday.

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