Allowing gay and lesbian couples to
marry would boost Texas' economy, a new study has found.
In February, a federal judge struck
down Texas' ban on gay marriage.
U.S. District Court Judge Orlando
Garcia said that the state's marriage laws demean the dignity of gay
and lesbian couples for “no legitimate reason.” The state
appealed the ruling.
According to a study conducted by the
Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA Law, extending
marriage to gay couples would generate up to $182 million in spending
to Texas' economy in the first three years after the ban is lifted.
“Allowing gay couples to marry here
would give an economic boost to caterers, florists, event venues, and
others who make a living through wedding planning,” Equality Texas
Executive Director Chuck Smith said in a statement.
Researchers looked at 2010 U.S. Census
data to estimate that half of gay couples living in Texas (23,200)
would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has
been observed in several states.
“This study confirms that all Texans
benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT
community,” said study co-author M.V. Lee Badgett.
complete report is available here.)