We’ve all heard about how the gays won the election. In Maine, Maryland and Washington, same-sex couples can finally wed, and in Minnesota a ballot initiative to constitutionally ban marriage equality failed utterly. That’s great news for everyone who cares about equality and/or has been waiting to have their commitment be legally recognized (in Maine, the same measure failed three years ago). But you know what else this is great news for? State economies.
On Monday, a study released by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law determined that gay people getting married may add $166 million to the coffers of Maine, Maryland and Washington over the next three years.
According to the Huffington Post, the report used each state’s average wedding spending and the results of census data to calculate that revenue number, based on the assumption that half of all the gay and lesbian couples identified in the census will marry within three years.
We were there when gay marriage passed in New York. A year later, all the tux-on-tux cake toppers and two-dress weddings had added $259 million to the economy in New York City alone. That’s no small change at a time when states are hurting under better-but-still-not-healed employment numbers. The recent election bodes well for a future where legalizing gay marriage is not only a matter of basic civil rights, but of simply doing the economically responsible thing, too.
Until then, watch this video of what it looked like the moment marriage equality passed in Maine.