Virginia Could See an Economic Boost of up to $60 Million by Extending the Freedom to Marry to Lesbian and Gay Couples
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2014Contact: Kirsten Bokenkamp, [email protected]; 804.643.4816 RICHMOND — Extending marriage to lesbian and gay couples in Virginia would generate up to $60 million in spending to the state economy according to a report released today by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. “This report clearly shows that allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry in Virginia is not only the right thing to do, but would also have a positive impact on our economy,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 14,244 same-sex couples live in Virginia. Of those couples, the Williams Institute estimates that 50 percent (7,122 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Nearly 5,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $38 million in revenue to the state of Virginia that year. Key findings include:
- Direct spending by resident same-sex couples on their weddings would add an estimated $39 million to $50 million to the state and local economy over the first three years.
- An estimated three year total $8 million to $10 million would be spent in Virginia by out-of-state guests attending weddings of same-sex couples.
- The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism would generate an additional $46 million to $60 million to the state and local economy in the first three years, with $30 million to $38.5 million generated in the first year alone.
- This economic boost would likely add $2.5 million to $3.2 million tax dollars to state and local coffers.
- Wedding-related spending and tourism would generate approximately 459 to 595 new jobs in Virginia over the first three years.
###Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan education, outreach, and advocacy organization seeking equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Virginians. Since 1989, EV has worked to end discrimination, protect families and build safe communities. More information is online at EqualityVirginia.org. Connect on Facebook.com/EqualityVA or Twitter @EqualityVA.