New Marriage Equality Laws Projected to Boost State Economies by $166M

The historic votes on marriage equality in Maine, Maryland and Washington not only extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, but will add a significant amount of capital to the economies of those states, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law. The think tank’s recent report estimated that over the next three years, same-sex weddings could generate up to $15.5 million in Maine, $62.6 million in Maryland, and $88.5 million in Washington, providing a welcome boost for an industry whose growth had flat lined. Of the combined 35,000 gay couples in the three states, researchers estimated about half would wed within three years and spend the state average on their wedding. Notably, the estimates do not include couples who may come from out-of-state to wed.

The Institute has long tracked the economic effect of marriage equality laws, finding in Massachusetts a $111 million boost in the four years after legalization. New York saw an even greater influx of cash in the year after marriage equality passed the state legislature, with New York City alone counting nearly $260 million in wedding-related purchases from same-sex couples.

The Huffington Post visited several local business owners in Maine after the election and posted the video on their website. Alysia Zoidis, who runs a bakery in Portland, Maine, reflected on the victory and said “I think it’s going to be great for any local business that is in the wedding industry. It’s a win-win situation.” Additionally, Lee Badgett, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts and research director at the Williams Institute, says the additional spending will create new jobs and boost tax revenues.

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