When you were looking at the pictures of emotional same-sex couples celebrating their long-awaited nuptials this week, did you notice the dollar signs?
Jason Rae did.
Rae is the executive director of the Milwaukee-based Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce and he sees the demise of the state's gay marriage ban as an economic boon for the state. In an email, he lays out his reasoning.
"We at the LGBT Chamber are excited about the economic impact that this decision will have on our state and specifically for our LGBT owned and allied businesses," he said. "This has the opportunity to add significant revenue streams for our businesses to help them grow and prosper."
Following are a few bullet points Rae offered:
• Weddings cost money, if same-sex couples are allowed to marry, they pay for flowers, food, music and venues. All money that generates sales tax and goes to boost the state economy.
• A study by the Williams Institute at UCLA predicted that allowing same-sex couples to marry in Illinois would generate $54-103 million in new spending in the state over the first three years that marriage is allowed.
• The study also found that the economic boost would add $8.5 million in tax revenue in the first three years, with an estimated $5.4 million in the first year.
• While we don’t have specific figures for economic impact in Wisconsin, we have to believe that it will be significant.
• Marriage equality in Wisconsin now at least saves the state money from those who otherwise would travel to a neighboring state with marriage equality.
• This isn’t just about paying for a wedding and the costs associated with that, but rather about all the costs that come with marriage that will improve our economy. There will be fees for lawyers to draft wills, trusts, estates; for financial planners; for many other professional services.