Same-sex marriage
6:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Same-sex marriage in Indiana could boost economy

In a new report, researchers say Indiana, the most recent state studied by the Williams Institute, would see an economic boost of  $39.1 million to the state and local economies, should same-sex marriage become legal there.

To arrive at that number, the UCLA think tank predicted 5,537 in-state same-sex couples would marry in the first three years if same-sex marriage were made legal in Indiana.

Other findings:

  • The report says there would be a $25 million boost in the first year alone
  • The economic boost would add $2.7 million in sales tax revenue
  • The spending, related to wedding ceremonies and celebrations, would generate 750 jobs

In addition, the report said, "Indiana is likely to experience a number of couples traveling from its bordering states because three of those states, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan, do not currently allow same-sex couples to marry."

The Williams Institute has no immediate plans to study the same-sex marriage economic impact on Ohio and Kentucky.

Not everyone agrees with the numbers.

President of the Indiana Family Institute, Curt Smith says, "My understanding from other states (like) Vermont, California, Massachusetts,  (and) New York is that far fewer couples have engaged in what's called tourism marriage than was initially estimated."

Smith also cautions that when figuring out the economic impact, you have to include health. "Unfortunately, and this is a sad fact for same-sex couples, in terms of health, wealth and other measures of well being, psychological well being, they don't fare as well and again that is not a happy thing. That is a sad thing."

One of the most recent same-sex battles in Indiana involves a lesbian who wants to be listed on her terminally-ill partner's death certificate.