Today, the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law issued a report on the economic impact of legalizing same-sex marriage in Texas, and the results are substantial. According to the report, over the next three years, same-sex marriages in Texas would:
· Inject $181.6 million into our state's economy;
· Generate $14.8 million in sales tax revenue; and
· Create between 523 and 1,570 new jobs.
These economic benefits are primarily a result of wedding spending and out-of-state guest spending.
"Although the injustice of denying the basic right of marriage to people based on their sexual orientation cannot be quantified, the economic damage of doing so is," said Senator Rodríguez. "To help persuade some of my colleagues that lifting Texas' ban on same-sex marriage is the right policy choice, I asked the Williams Institute for their help in providing concrete figures. As a legislator, I was particularly interested in the economic impact on tourism, small businesses, and tax revenue in our state. The results are clear: legalizing same-sex marriage would provide a substantial boost to our state's economy."
"As more and more states begin to realize that denying marriage to individuals based on sexual preference is not only morally wrong but also economically damaging, legalizing same-sex marriage becomes more and more clearly the right choice," Rodríguez added. To date, same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
Senator Rodríguez is a strong advocate for equality. This past legislative session, he filed two bills to advance the rights of same sex couples¾each one filed for the first time in the Texas Senate:
· SJR 29, which would have allowed the people of Texas to vote repeal the state constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage; and
· SB 538, which would have repealed the state law criminalizing "homosexual conduct" ¾ a law that is still on the books even though it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court over a decade ago. Despite being unconstitutional and unenforceable, this law has not been repealed. Not only is the continued existence of this law in statute a source of misinformation to law enforcement, but state and local governments must pay to defend litigation from its misuse.
The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A national think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public.