Report: Marriage equality would add $36 million, new jobs to Missouri economy


Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Missouri would generate an estimated $36.3 million in spending to the state’s economy and could generate as many as 900 new jobs over three years, according to a new study.

MissouriResearchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates that — based on 2010 U.S. Census data — 10,557 same-sex couples live in Missouri. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (5,279 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Over 3,379 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $23 million in revenue to the state of Missouri that year.

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

Key findings include:

  • 5,279 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Missouri.
  • The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $36.3 million to the state and local economy of Missouri over the course of three years, with a $23.2 million boost in the first year alone. This economic boost would add $2.75 million in sales tax revenue to the state coffer.

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  • Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could create 312 to 936 jobs in the tourism and recreation sector for the state.

There are currently two federal lawsuits pending that are challenging Missouri’s ban on same-sex marriage, and refusal to recognize out-of-state same-sex unions.

The full study is here.

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