Marriage Equality: Dollars and Sense


FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports today:

Extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples in Colorado would generate $50 million in spending to the state economy and $3.7 million in state and local tax revenue, according to a study released Thursday.

The study from the Williams Institute, a national think tank at the UCLA School of Law, looked at 2010 U.S. Census data on the number of gay and lesbian couples living in Colorado and estimates that 50 percent – roughly 6,200 couples – would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

As a result, the state’s wedding business would see an increase by $40 million, and an increase of roughly $10 million in tourism expenditures made by out-of-town guests over the same period.

Total state and local tax revenue would rise by $3.7 million, including an estimated $2.3 million in local sales taxes.

More in a press release from One Colorado:

“We’ve already known that marriage would give committed couples here in Colorado the opportunity to make a lifetime promise to each other and protect their families the same way everyone else does,” said Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy group for LGBT Coloradans and their families. “Now we know that marriage equality would also benefit our economy and contribute to the state’s bottom line.”

Anybody who's ever had to pay for their own or a child's wedding, or been privy to the accounting of costs for any decent ceremony, can tell you that more weddings directly translate into lots more money flowing into the hands of local business–and tax revenue from those businesses to the public sector. Major life developments like weddings remain one of the situations where Americans set aside frugality and really open their wallets, which is exactly the kind of exuberant consumption a healthy economy thrives on.

Sounds like a good old-fashioned capitalism success story to us.

15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    This is a chance for "the gays" to prove they are smarter than us breeders.
    Have small, inexpensive weddings.

  2. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    I'm with you on that, Dave.   I've paid for three weddings.  The first one was pricey for me, about $6,000 but that's chump change for many.   The last two were under $1,000.  I'd rather use the difference to give the kids a stake in their new life.   Let's hope gays show they recognize the value of their relationship is not expressed with material excess but throught the celebration of the values that brought them together.   

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      I have one very rich east coast relative.   He and his wife spent more like 50K on the grooms' parental obligations, rehearsal dinner, bash at their sides's hotel for out of towners, etc., and the brides families spent more like 100K. The gowns alone are multi-K.  And you have to book the venues well over a year in advance so you have to keep your fingers crossed they don't break up.  The deposits are not refundable. That's a lot to pay for over a year of stress and anxiety culminating in the super stressful, often combative, run up to the wedding itself, a run up which generally involves a lot of tears and screaming. We plebians aren't missing much. We just send a gift which I'm sure isn't up to snuff.

      • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

        I think expensive weddings like that are a very good way to jinx the whole relationship BlueCat.  I am certain the less you spend on your wedding is inversely proportional to how long you stay together and how successful your marriage is.  Somebody ought to do a study on that.

        My wife and I spent about $ 1,000 on our wedding, including the $ 50 permit to get married in Eldorado Canyon.  I am very proud to say that was 10 years ago.

        • BlueCatBlueCat says:

          We had a pretty casual wedding in Glenwood Springs. My folks paid and it probably was a similar amount. We'd been living together for over a year and back then couples who already were living together usually didn't do the whole traditional wedding bit with all the bells and whistles.  Not that anyone in my family had an extravaganza. We will be married 33 years in June.

          I think when you invest so much, and I'm talking emotional energy more than just the expense, in making one day a perfect dream come true, that's a lot of pressure to put on everyone involved and can turn the day into an ordeal.

          • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

            Totally agree BC about the pressure all that creates, and 33 years is just plain awesome.  Way to go.

            • BlueCatBlueCat says:

              Once you get through the hard parts of the tough years it actually gets a lot easier and more enjoyable. You learn that there are things that can change and things that can't and if the whole package is good don't sweat the small stuff. 

              It also helps to be best buddies, generally share the same world view, generally agree on the important stuff, and enjoy a lot of the same things so you can hang out together and have fun. Oh and being absolutely sure your partner is in your corner  when push comes to shove. That's really important.  And, this is key too, don't stop having sex on a regular basis. As you get older, don't think that means it's inevitable that weeks and months will go by. It's not. wink


          • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

            Twenty eight years and counting for us. The courthouse on a Saturday morning. T-shirts and jeans. Even the judge had tennis togs on under his robe. Followed by a fabulous week-end at a Holiday inn. I swear "Capitol W" weddings are a curse. I've seen more of them end within five years.

        • SocialisticatProgressicat says:

          Drive through.  Ordered the wedding at the box, got married in the car.

          Did rent a convertible, though.

          • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

            I witnessed a drive through wedding at the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas (Michael Jordan got married there). We were waiting for the minister to marry us when a limo pulled up to a window..the minister leaned out the window and the ceremony was over in the time it takes to eat an order of french fries. It was cool.

            I am 23 years into my third marriage. Looks like this one was the charm.

  3. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Hey, Hawaii is thrilled that it's illegal in other states. I know a groupf of 5 lesbian couples that are flying over to Hawaii this May to get married. If it was legal here, then Hawaii would not get that lovely revenue.

    ps – I have 3 daughters and those weddings are going to be expensive. I keep suggesting they elope and I get the same look whenever I suggest anything to them (dad's are apparently clueless on all subjects).

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    The best take on this ever was the star – studded Proposition 8 musical by Funny or Die.

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