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The Economic Benefits of Marriage Equality in Washington State 

The Economic Benefits of Marriage Equality in Washington State 


Marriage equality in Washington would add $88 million to the state economy in the first three years and generate millions in tax revenue, according to a report released Friday by The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Bills to legalize marriage for same-sex couples have been introduced in both the state house and senate with strong support from Washington governor Chris Gregoire.

Findings of the report, per the Williams Institute:

Total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests will add an $88-million boost to the Washington economy over the first three years. This spending is likely to generate $8 million in tax revenue for state and local governments.

The figures in the report draw upon data on average wedding expenditures in Washington and tourism reports from 2010, along with data regarding marriage expenses by same-sex couples in other states.

The report considers that couples in existing registered domestic partnerships might have different spending patterns from couples that do not have that status. Even if there was no new spending by the 7,518 couples currently in registered domestic partnerships, the state would see an estimated increase in spending of $18 million and a tax boost of $1.6 million.

The full report is available here.

According to 2010 census figures, more than 19,000 same-sex couples reside in Washington; 16% of gay couples in the state are raising children.

Read The Advocate's recent interview with Gov. Gregoire on state marriage equality legislation here.

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