Gay Marriage: Sound Business to the Tune of Billions
Social conservatives have loud rhetoric when it comes to marriage equality, but even so they might not be able to drown out a new sound associated with weddings for gays and lesbians: the din of cash registers.
Two new reports from The Williams Institute show that marriage equality could pump tens of millions of dollars into state economies like Calif., where marriage equality just became legal, and NJ, where marriage equality is viewed as likely, reports online news source Business Pundit.
The Williams Institute reports show that Calif. will benefit over the next three year period to the tune of nearly $64 million. NJ, should it become the third state to allow its gay and lesbian citizens full family rights, stands to rake in $19 million over the same period.
The impact on federal coffers should the freedom to marry ever become the law of the land from sea to shining sea? A cool billion annually, according to the Congressional Budget Office, reports Business Pundit.
Those three years will see a front-loaded first year or so, given the historical trend of up to half of all same-sex couples getting hitched in short order in a state where marriage equality becomes law. But even after the initial rush to the altar, the marriage rates for gays and lesbians are the same as for heterosexuals, Business Pundit reports.
Even using a conservative estimate that only 5 percent of the American population at large is gay or lesbian, if gays nationwide were to marry at the same rate as their straight counterparts, the result would be a boom for the already-$86 billion-annually industry.
Factor in wedding gifts, honeymoon vacations, and the expenses of setting up house, and that figure balloons to better than $120 billion per year, Business Pundit reports.
What’s 5 percent of that astronomical figure? Six billion dollars.
When it comes to the cost/benefit ratios of public services and any form of social safety net, conservatives like to ask rhetorical questions along the lines of how government would benefit were it run like a business. The question now, in light of these numbers, is whether--and how--conservatives will justify ignoring what looks like sound business fiscal sense.