(Tampa – August 19, 2014) – "Estimating the Economic Boost of Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Florida," a new study released today by UCLA’s Williams Institute, shows that Florida’s economy would get a massive economic boost from extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. According the report’s estimates, more than 24,000 same-sex couples would choose to marry over the next three years, bringing a potential $182.2 million to Florida’s economy, with nearly $117 million of that in the first year alone. (View and/or download the study here: http://bit.ly/UZtMGh)
The report also predicts that up to 2,626 jobs would be created in the Sunshine State due to the increased spending for same-sex couples’ weddings and celebrations.
“This report is a strong, albeit conservative, indicator of the real economic benefit the freedom to marry would provide in Florida," said Shane McMurray of The Wedding Report, Inc. "National data consistently shows that Florida is one of the top options for American couples planning destination weddings - an additional factor not discussed in this report, but one that would substantially add to the economic impact of marriage in the Sunshine State.” "Florida is a top wedding destination for happy couples from across our nation," said Bernadette Smith, nationally-renowned author and founder of 14 Stories, a wedding planning firm. "There are hundreds of millions of dollars waiting to be spent in Florida by same-sex couples who yearn for nothing more than equal treatment under the law. It's time for Florida to recognize that it is good for both families and business to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples."
Mayors and municipalities across the state are speaking out in favor of striking down the ban thatfour Florida judges have declared unconstitutional. They have joined major players in the hospitality industry who are preparing for the day when Florida becomes a freedom to marry state. Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine says he hopes that day comes soon:
“Miami Beach, like cities all across our beautiful state, is committed to true equality for all Floridians,” said Mayor Levine. “Our city is also a top destination for couples traveling to Florida from across the country to be married. Without question, there is a major additional economic impact that the State of Florida would see from out-of-state couples traveling here to be married. Along with the majority of Floridians, I look forward to the day that all couples can celebrate their love and commitment to each other and be fully recognized as equal citizens under the law."
Equality Florida’s CEO Nadine Smith says the financial impact is significant not only for the state's economy but also for the couples who want the ability to take care of their loved ones.
“Not only is ending the ban the right thing to do, but the research shows it is also the right thing for Florida's economy." said Smith. “It is time for Florida to end this discrimination, allow gay families to protect our loved ones and become a wedding destination for all loving couples. That is a win for fairness and for our economy.”