Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Texas would generate an estimated $181.6 million in spending to the state’s economy and generate over 1,500 new jobs over three years, according to a new study.
Researchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates that — based on 2010 U.S. Census data — 46,401 same-sex couples live in Texas. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (23,209 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
Over 14,848 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $116 million in revenue to the state of Texas that year.
“This study confirms that all Texans benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said study author, M.V. Lee Badgett;
Other key findings from the report issued Wednesday include:
- The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $181.6 million to the state and local economy of Texas over the course of three years, with a $116 million boost in the first year alone.
- The economic boost would add $14.8 million in sales tax revenue to state and local coffers.
- Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could generate up to 1,570 full- and part-time jobs in the state.
A federal judge declared Texas’ same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional on February 26, issuing a preliminary injunction. The state said it would appeal the ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans, but has not yet done so.