The Supreme Court’s billion dollar gay marriage decision

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By Quentin Fottrell
April 28, 2015

Wedding bells — as well as those at the cash register — will be ringing if the Supreme Court rules that gay marriage is legal across the land.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments about whether state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional and, if they are, whether states with those bans have the right to refuse to recognize couples who’ve gotten married in the 37 states and the District of Columbia where it’s now legal. Justice Anthony Kennedy, widely regarded as the swing voter among eight other justices who traditionally sit firmly to the left or right of the political spectrum, said the principal purpose of marriage was to afford dignity to couples, “which is denied to same-sex couples,” but he also noted that the current definition of marriage between a man and a woman “has been with us for millennia.”

If the Supreme Court’s ruling, which is expected in June, denies states the right to ban same-sex marriage and enshrines it in the constitution, marriage equality nationwide could mean a $2.6 billion spending boom over the next three years, resulting in $184.7 million in state and local tax revenue. It could also provide enough products and services for over 13,000 jobs, according to the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the University of California.

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