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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Clerks will start using the revised forms on Oct. 1.

Clerks will start using the revised forms on Oct. 1.


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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