Monday, November 17, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage: A potential $200 million boost to Texas economy

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 4:06 PM

click to enlarge gay-marriage.jpg
Same-sex marriage legalization could be a potential financial boon for Texas. That's according to a recent study conducted by NerdWallet, which concluded that local economies could experience a $2.5 billion impact were the practice legal in all 50 states. Here in Texas, same-sex marriage legalization could potentially inject over $200 million into local economies.

Rather than bringing on the hellfire and societal annihilation we were promised by religious conservatives, it turns out same-sex marriage could bring on job and revenue growth to the nation's wedding industry. 

So where did NerdWallet's numbers come from? Analysts considered three factors to reach their conclusions: the size of each state's self-identified LGBT population, U.S. Census data on state marriage rates and the average wedding cost. NerdWallet also noted that they were analyzing long-term economic impact same-sex marriage legalization, rather than the surge most state see in the issuing of marriage licenses immediately after bans are overturned. 

According to their data, should Texas' ban be overturned, the state could see over 8,000 gay marriages within the first year of legalization. And with the average cost to throw a wedding in Texas hovering around $25,000, the state's wedding industry could see an additional $200 million in revenue. In fact, Texas is one of the top ten states to benefit economically from dismantling its ban on same-sex marriage.

For the time being, this is just a thought experiment, since the same-sex marriage ban still stands in the Lone Star State. Texas is one of the 13 states that still prohibit same-sex couples from being legally wed. A federal judge in San Antonio overturned Texas' ban in February, but the state appealed the decision. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, known as one of the more conservative appeals courts, will hear the case in January. A decision to uphold the Texas ban, along with a recent decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, could be the impetus for the Supreme Court to finally address the constitutionality of same-sex marriage prohibition.

So in addition to granting rights to thousands of gay and lesbian couples, a Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide could make it rain for the already huge American wedding industry. 

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