The Economics of Marriage Equality

How will same-sex marriage affect the economy and LGBT families?

Stephen Henderson talks with Jan Stevenson, Publisher at Between the Lines and board member of the new LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and Jay Kaplan ACLU of Michigan LGBT Project Staff Attorney, about the economic implications of same-sex marriage. 

  • Wedding revenue:  Stevenson says that UCLA estimates $2.6 billion in spending nationwide as a result of same-sex marriages.
  • Tax revenue:  Stevenson says that UCLA estimates $185 million in tax revenue for states and local governments as a result of legal same-sex marriage nationwide.  She says that Michigan has a pent-up demand for same-sex marriages, so the state will experience a tax and spending increase. 
  • Family stability:  Stevenson says that children’s rights are part of why same-sex marriage is important.  She says that a child having two legal parents who can be held accountable for childcare after a break-up is important.  She also says that families who have access to more legal rights will be more stable and economically successful.
  • Price of discrimination:  Kaplan points out that there are “always economic consequences to discrimination”, and that LGBTQ people are worse off economically. He says Rick Snyder should consider that discriminatory state law can discourage businesses from moving to Michigan when nearby states like Illinois have more favorable legislation. 
  • Michigan adoption and religious freedom:  Stevenson says that Michigan’s religious freedom adoption law is a “mark of shame on the state of Michigan”, and points out that many foster and adoption agencies are eager to work with LGBT parents, especially for hard-to-place kids. 

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.