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Report: Marriage equality would add $182 million, new jobs to Fla. economy

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
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Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Florida would generate an estimated $182.2 million in spending to the state’s economy and could generate as many at 2,600 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 — 48,496 same-sex couples live in Florida. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (24,248 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Over 15,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $116 million in revenue to the state of Florida that year.

“This study confirms that all Floridians benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said study author, M.V. Lee Badgett;

Key findings include:

  • 24,248 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Florida.
  • The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $182.2 million to the state and local economy of Florida over the course of three years, with a $116 million boost in the first year alone. This economic boost would add $12.1 million in sales tax revenue to the state coffer.

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  • Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could generate between 875 to 2,626 full- and part-time jobs in the state.

In recent weeks, judges in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties have overturned the state’s gay marriage ban, but all stayed their rulings, meaning no marriage licenses are being issued to gay couples pending appeals.

A fourth ruling in Palm Beach County applied only to the parties in a probate case. A separate lawsuit is pending in federal court seeking to overturn the gay-marriage ban statewide.

The full study is here.

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