Equality pays in PA

A national LGBT thinktank has released findings on the economic impact of same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania.

The Williams Institute, in partnership with Credit Suisse, found that extending marriage to same-sex couples in the Keystone State will generate up to $92 million for the state and local economies over three years, with a $42-$58.9-million boost in the first year alone.

“Same-sex couples and their out-of-town guests spend money to celebrate weddings,” said study author M.V. Lee Badgett. “As we have seen in states that already extend marriage to same-sex couples, this spending boost can lead to an influx of tourism dollars that benefit local businesses and an increase in state and local tax revenue.”

The study said the boost in Pennsylvania will include $4.2-$5.8 million in sales-tax revenue to state and local coffers, while approximately 812-1,142 jobs will be created. Direct wedding spending is estimated to generate $51-$72 million and out-of-state guest spending between $5-$19 million, for a total of $65-$92 million in combined spending.

The study said Southern states lagging behind in marriage equality stand to gain up to $733 million.

Of the 22,336 same-sex couples in Pennsylvania, up to 11,168 planned to marry within three years of it becoming legal in the commonwealth, according to Census data.

— Ryan Kasley