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Gay Marriage Could Generate Almost Half a Billion Dollars in Its First Year Being Legal

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So you don't support marriage equality—that probably won't be a good look on you in a few years when it's (inevitably) legal nationwide. What's holding you back? Religion? Jesus would have supported gay marriage (at least, that's what Elton John says, but he seems trustworthy).

Or maybe you're just worried that two consenting adults committing to a lifetime of loving each other (the sanctity of marriage, as it were) would cause the decline of America. Counterpoint: It might help kickstart the economy. That seems like a positive?

The Washington Post published a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law that found legalizing same-sex marriage in just 11 states could generate more than $464 million dollars in the first year alone (for visual people, that's: $464,000,000.00).

It's not the ideal reason to support marriage equality, but whatever gets you over the hump.

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Gay Marriage, Oregon Alex Milan Tracy/Sipa via AP Images

The Williams Institute projects that in three years, some 90,000 same-sex couples would marry in the 11 states factored into the study and "contribute $723.5 million to the state economies over that period." How did the Williams Institute land on that number?

Using census numbers from 2010, they estimated a total number of couples that would marry (about half, based on what happened in Massachusetts and a number of other states). Then they used market research via The Wedding Report to calculate how much money is generally spent on food, hotels and other wedding costs. 

The nearly half a billion dollars earned in that first year might be a lowball statistic too, as the Williams Institute only factored in about a fourth of the Wedding Report's costs to account for two issues:

That number may be too high for two reasons: because of societal discrimination, some same-sex couples may not get the same financial support from their families as heterosexual couples and some same-sex couples may simply reallocate money they would have otherwise spent in the state toward their weddings. 

That is still so much money! Just think how much legalizing in all 50 states would make!

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Here are the three states in the study that would profit most:

Texas
Couples marrying over first three years: 23,200
Three-year economic benefit: $181,600,000
Three-year revenue benefit: $14,800,000
Economic benefit in first year: $116,200,000 

Pennsylvania
Couples marrying over first three years: 11,168 (low-end estimate: 7,490)
Three-year economic benefit: $92,100,000 (low-end estimate: $65,000,000)
Three-year revenue benefit: $5,800,000 (low-end estimate: $4,200,000)
Economic benefit in first year: $58,900,000 (low-end estimate: $42,000,000) 

Ohio
Couples marrying over first three years: 9,842
Three-year economic benefit: $70,800,000
Three-year revenue benefit: $5,000,000
Economic benefit in first year: $45,200,000

Get on it, Texas.

(H/T Jezebel)

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