Updated: Gay Marriage Would Be Big for Texas Economy, Study Finds

Categories: Texas

Photo by Jose Antonio Navas

Update: Christy Mallory, senior counsel at the Williams Institute, told us in an email that in 2009 the institute examined the actual economic impact of gay marriage on Massachusetts - $111 million over the first four years following legalization.

That's smaller than the number the institute estimates in its Texas study, but Mallory said Texas has more same-sex couples. Here's the concentration of gay couples in the United States broken down by county, plus some other interesting numbers about gay couples.

Original post: Gay marriage probably won't be legalized in Texas until the Supreme Court makes the state do so. We do have a governor who compared homosexuality to alcoholism, after all.

But according to a study by the Williams Institute, if gay marriage were legal here in the Lone Star State, it'd be quite the financial boom.

The institute, a think tank housed in the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law, released a study Wednesday estimating the economic boost gay marriage legalization in Texas could provide. According to the study, Texas gay marriages would add an estimated $181.6 million in spending to state and local economies over three years, a boost of $14.8 million in sales tax revenue.

"All of the findings from previous studies suggest that extending marriage rights to same-sex couples produces a positive impact on states' budgets and economies," the researchers wrote in the report.

The folks at UCLA got that $181.6 million number by pulling financial data from a couple of places.

The study's authors found that average wedding spending in Texas in 2012 was $24,269, according to The Wedding Report. For gay marriages, the researchers decided the direct wedding spending for gay marriages would be $6,067 - a quarter of $24,269. The researchers assumed that parents of same-sex couples would provide less financial support for the gay weddings than the parents of heterosexual couples would for their child weddings.

If half of Texas' 46,401 gay couples - that number comes from the 2010 census - were to marry, that would result in $140.8 million in direct wedding spending.

The other $40.8 million comes from out-of-state guests. Based on a past report, the researchers estimated an average of 16 out-of-state guests to come to Texas gay weddings. The average amount those guests would spend came from food and lodging data from the U.S. General Services Administration.

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Jo Evins
Jo Evins

Think of that cash we could make legalizing polygamist marriage too, fundamentalist Mormons from all over would come here to spend their dough

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