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Study: Same-sex
marriage good for the economy

Study: Same-sex
marriage good for the economy

Giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide would be not only a boost to equality but a boost to the economy. A new study released Tuesday by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, indicates that there are numerous economic benefits to marriage equality. The study, titled "The Effect of Marriage Equality and Domestic Partnership on Business and the Economy," tracked other research studies and found that gay workers who receive domestic-partnership benefits are more comfortable in their work environment and far happier--and more productive--than employees who do not receive them. The study also showed that it can be costly for businesses to manage benefits for its employees in same-sex relationships without a uniform standard of legal recognition. "Policymakers and businesspeople have not fully recognized the enormous potential gains to the economy from treating same-sex couples equally," M. V. Lee Badgett, the study's coauthor and research director of the Williams Institute, said in a statement. "Our study shows that equal treatment of couples in the business world attracts heterosexual employees and creates more productive workplaces for gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees." The study also underscored the specific financial gain that would be spurred by same-sex marriage. "Spending on new weddings alone would generate $2 billion for businesses in the wedding industry," Gary J. Gates, senior research associate at the Williams Institute and study coauthor, said in the statement. "Places that allow same-sex couples to marry have reported noticeable boosts in business for hotels, caterers, florists, and other wedding-related businesses." (The Advocate)

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