Williams Institute estimates economic impact of marriage equality in Michigan

The Williams Institute at UCLA has released reports on the economic boost of marriage for same-sex couples should marriage equality come to Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Last week a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard the marriage equality cases from these four states. According to the Williams Institute's estimations, extending marriage to same-sex couples would generate an additional $53.2 million for Michigan's economy, $70.8 million for Ohio's economy, $23.4 million for Kentucky's economy, and $36.7 million for Tennessee's economy.

These estimates are based off of US Census data on the number of same-sex couples living in each of the four states. Based on patterns observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere when marriage equality was extended to same-sex couples, the Institute estimates that 50% of the same-sex couples in each state would choose to marry within the first three years. This would bring more money to local businesses as couples plan their weddings, and also increase income to the state economy as out-of-state guests come in for the weddings and purchase goods and services.

A growing coalition of small business owners have already pledged their support for marriage equality at Michigan for Marriage. “We know that promoting marriage equality is more than just the right thing to do for Michigan, it will bring real economic benefits to the state,” said Gina Calcagno, coalition manager for Michigan for Marriage. “Michigan business leaders from across the state are committed to marriage equality because they believe in creating an open, healthy and diverse workplace.”

Jena McShane, owner of McShane Photography in Michigan, said, “I work closely with couples as they prepare to share their lives together and look to capture those magic moments from every couple’s big day. What defines a marriage is love and commitment, it’s just that simple.”

A ruling from the Sixth Circuit is expected this fall. Stay updated on the latest marriage equality news at glaad.org/marriage