New Williams Institute Data Visualization: U.S. Benefitting From $2.6 Billion Same-Sex Wedding Spending Boom

For Immediate Distribution
December 11, 2014

Contact:
Laura Rodriguez, lrodriguez@rabengroup.com, (310) 956-2425
Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com, (202) 587-2871

States in the South and Midwest Still Have Over $700 Million To Gain Through Marriage Equality

LOS ANGELES – The Williams Institute, in partnership with Credit Suisse, has released a new, interactive resource exploring the amount of money state economies have to gain by allowing same-sex couples to marry. Based on a series of state-level studies authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett, and other Williams Institute scholars, the resource estimates that the nationwide economic boost from marriage of same-sex couples could be up to $2.6 billion in just the first three years.

“Same-sex couples and their out-of-town guests spend money to celebrate weddings,” said Badgett. “As we have seen in states that already extend marriage to same-sex couples, this spending boost can lead to an influx of tourism dollars that benefit local businesses and an increase in state and local tax revenue.”

Some states have yet to open marriage to all couples. Notably, the economic interactive shows that states in the South that have been slow to open marriage to same-sex couples and could see a total economic benefit of $733 million. It also shows that 29 percent, $750 million nationwide, remains unlocked by states that have not yet extended marriage to same-sex couples.

The online tool was created in partnership with Credit Suisse, a longtime partner of the Williams Institute. “This new, interactive resource communicates what the Credit Suisse LGBT Equality Index and Portfolio communicates, which is that being pro-LGBT is good for business – and that data proves it,” said Pamela Thomas-Graham, Credit Suisse’s Chief Marketing and Talent Officer and head of the firm’s New Markets business.

Since 2003, the Williams Institute has published over 70 reports estimating the economic benefits of extending marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnership to same-sex couples in states across the country. Click here for a list of all reports.

To view the new economic interactive, click here.

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