Washington state's economy could get an
$88 million boost from legalizing gay marriage.
Governor Chris Gregoire's plan to make
Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage took a dramatic
leap forward on Wednesday when the Washington Senate approved a
marriage equality bill by a wider margin than expected. Supporters
say they have more than enough votes in the House to approve the
According to a report issued by the
Institute, the weddings of gay and lesbian couples are estimated
to add $88 million to the state and local economy of Washington over
the course of three years and provide a $57 million boost in the
first year. The study's most conservative estimate is $18 million
over the law's first three years.
The report estimates that half of the
19,003 resident same-sex couples, or about 9,500 couples, will choose
to marry during the law's first three years.
Louise Chernin, president of the
Greater Seattle Business Association, told Q13fox.com that marriage
equality will also boost tourism.
“We are working with the convention
and visitors bureau,” she said. “We've been working for the last
year and a half, encouraging people to visit our beautiful state;
this will be one more attraction.”
The report's spending estimates do not
include revenue generated by out-of-state couples who decide to marry
in Washington. According to Census figures, there are more than
129,000 gay couples living in the five states that send the most
visitors to Washington.