DENVER — Why Marriage Matters Colorado, the broad coalition working to remove discrimination from Colorado’s constitution and secure the freedom to marry for all committed couples, announced today that a new economic study released by the Williams Institute shows that extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples in Colorado would generate $50 million in spending to the state economy and $3.7 million in state and local tax revenue.
The Williams Institute, a national think tank at the UCLA School of Law, has released a full version of the report, which can be found here.
Looking at 2010 U.S. Census data on the number of gay and lesbian couples living in Colorado, the Institute estimates that 50% – roughly 6,200 couples – would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.
In the first three years of extending marriage to same-sex couples, the study estimates that:
· The state’s wedding business would see an increase by $40 million, and an increase of roughly $10 million in tourism expenditures made by out-of-town guests over the same period.
· Total state and local tax revenue would rise by $3.7 million, including an estimated $2.3 million in local sales taxes. The first year would produce $2 million of this spending.
· The boost in wedding spending will generate approximately 436 jobs in the state.
The report also takes into account the couples who have already celebrated their marriage elsewhere and the estimated 3,976 Colorado resident couples who have already entered into civil unions. If those couples marry without ceremonies, the economic impact will be smaller: roughly $32 million.
“We’ve already known that marriage would give committed couples here in Colorado the opportunity to make a lifetime promise to each other and protect their families the same way everyone else does,” said Dave Montez, Executive Director of One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy group for LGBT Coloradans and their families. “Now we know that marriage equality would also benefit our economy and contribute to the state’s bottom line.”
Why Marriage Matters Colorado is broadening the dialogue with Coloradans about why marriage is important to same-sex couples and their families and why it is consistent with the values of liberty and freedom. More information on this statewide initiative – which is being spearheaded by leading statewide LGBT advocacy group One Colorado, ACLU of Colorado, and Freedom to Marry – can be found here: www.whymarriagematterscolorado.org