Gay Marriage Good for the Budget

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The Times’ Economix blog reported on an interesting study from The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. The study reports that legalizing gay Marriage in Rhode Island could bring the state an additional $1.2 million over a three year-period. That’s a pretty small sum, although they estimate that “Marriages of approximately 1,048 of Rhode Island’s same-sex couples would be recognized in the next three years.”

We can only assume that there would be a much larger benefit to the New York Budget when Marriage Equality is Passed. A 2007 NYC Comptroller’s Report “Love Counts: The Economic Benefits of Marriage Equality for New York” estimates that legalizing gay marriage would:

add $142 million, on a net basis, to New York City’s economy during the three years following legislative approval. It would add about $184 million, on a net basis, in spending to the State’s economy.

The Economix blog makes the overall point I would have:

More recently, economic desperation has helped reshape how we think about the regulation of other social issues — including policies related to state-sanctioned gambling, marijuana, immigration and even prostitution.

Theoretically, our laws are supposed to be based on our sense of morality, and not mercenary interests, wherever you come down on social issues like same-sex marriage and gambling. But when push comes to shove, the issue facing many politicians is whether they can afford to restrict behaviors that some constituents may find  “immoral” but which happen to be quite lucrative.

Anyone more interested in this topic should check out the Chamber of Commerce’s The Economic Impact of Gay Marriage event.