Same-Sex Marriage Could Give $182.2 Million Boost to Florida's Economy

Florida's ban on same-sex marriage is chiefly a civil rights issue, but it's also an economic issue.

A new analysis by the UCLA School of Law's William Institute estimates Florida could see a $182.2 million boost to its economy if gay marriage were legalized -- and that's just in the first three years alone. That translates to roughly $12.2 million in taxes for the state and local governments.

Using census data, the study estimates there are roughly 48,496 committed same-sex couples living together in Florida. Using Massachusetts as a model, the study estimates roughly half of those couples would get married in the first three years if same-sex marriage were legalized.

The study's authors aren't sure how many of those couples may have already wed out of state where same-sex marriage is legal, but they believe any difference would be offset by out-of-state couples choosing to have destination weddings in Florida.

It's estimated that all of that extra spending could create anywhere from 875 to 2,626 jobs for Floridians.

Of course, that's just estimating the direct impact of actual weddings. Florida's same-sex marriage ban likely has much more complicated negative economic impacts for the state as well.

Highly skilled workers who happen to be gay may decide not to move to Florida because their marriage isn't recognized, and gay-owned and -friendly businesses may be wary of relocating or opening major branches.

Of course, same-sex couples looking to retire might also think twice about relocating to the state. Why move to Florida when California also has nice weather but treats your union as valid?

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Kyle Munzenrieder