Economic Development

Same-sex marriage could boost the economy, create jobs, promote business and generate tax revenue

If one were to cite strictly economic rationale for gay marriage, there is a great case to be made for it. Weddings create revenue of all sorts. States and local governments benefit from marriage licenses. Venues get booked and paid for, while hotels, restaurants and retail outlets also see sales rise. Even vacation spots get a nice dose of business from the honeymooning couple.

Five states now allow same-sex marriage; it’s only a matter of time before Civil Unions become marriages. It’s better to reap the benefits now to help us get out of the recession than wait for no particularly good reason.

Forbes magazine says an immediate windfall of about $17 billion could be had if gay marriage were made legal nationally. The magazine conducted the analysis several years ago and determined that "one thing is abundantly clear: Legalizing same-sex marriages would mean a windfall for the wedding industry." Weddings are a $70 billion-a-year business.

If you look carefully through the numbers, the thing that actually makes the numbers work in gay marriage's favor is the caring of one person for another. When people show they care, they spend -- on gifts, dinners, weekend getaways. On the other end of the spectrum, when people are in need and there is someone there to care for them, they are less reliant on social services.

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Idea No. 1394