Marriage Equality Would Boost Oregon Economy by $47.3 Million

gay wedding
By Daniel Borgen, PQ Monthly

We got our hands on a report out of UCLA–a study that looked at how affirming same-sex marriage in Oregon might impact our economy. According to the Williams Institute: “Using the best data available and following the methodology of previous analyses for a number of other states, we estimate that allowing same-sex couples to marry would boost Oregon’s economy by $47.3 million over the course of the first three years, with $30.3 million in the first year alone. We estimate that approximately 5,887 (50%) of Oregon’s 11,773 same-sex couples will marry in first three years.” That’s some big money, dear readers.

The rest, from Oregon United for Marriage, who sent us their press release at the crack of dawn. (I’m quoting them directly below.)

The study released today uses data from sources such as the 2010 Census and the American Community Survey. It estimates that 5,887 Oregon gay and lesbian couples will marry in the first three years of marriage becoming legal and that couples will on average spend $6,399 on their weddings.

At least 166 caterers, photographers, wedding planners and other wedding professionals who make up the Wedding Professionals United for Marriage coalition plan to celebrate the news during a Marriage Equality Debut Reception at the Tiffany Center in Portland. At the reception, the wedding professionals plan to endorse marriage for same-sex couples and show off the products and services they look forward to offering gay and lesbian couples once Oregon wins the freedom to marry.

WHO: Wedding Professionals United for Marriage Reception
WHEN: 5 p.m. on Tuesday
WHERE: Tiffany Center, 1410 S.W. Morrison St., Portland, Ore.

Next week, a federal judge in Eugene will hear final arguments in a legal case challenging the constitutionality of Oregon’s law that excludes gay and lesbian couples from marriage. Since the Supreme Court struck down part of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act last year, 11 of 11 federal judges have ruled in favor of the freedom to marry and 61 federal cases are pending around the country.

“I’ve planned hundreds of weddings for straight couples and am counting down the days until I can finally marry my partner in Oregon,” said Lee Collins, general manager of Rafati’s Catering and an organizer of today’s event.

“I can’t wait to photograph more weddings,” said wedding photographerAndie Petkus. “Love makes everyone more photogenic!”

The researchers who conducted the study are independent of the marriage campaign. And they had this to say:

Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Oregon would generate nearly $50 million in spending to the state economy, according to a new study authored by Williams Institute Senior Counsel, Christy Mallory; Williams Distinguished Scholar, M.V. Lee Badgett; and Williams Public Policy Fellow, E.G. Fitzgerald.

“This study confirms that all Oregonians benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said Mallory.

According to 2010 U.S. Census, the most recent data available, 11,773 same-sex couples live in Oregon. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (5,887 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Nearly 4,000 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring over $30 million in revenue to the state of Oregon that year.

See more.

More from PQ Monthly on this Thursday–when we release our highly-anticipated–and first ever–wedding issue.

BlogTail_Daniel Borgen