According to his U.S. Census data, there are about 6,300 gay couples in Nevada. Based on what’s happened in Massachusetts since it legalized gay marriage, he estimated about half of those couples would get married here if they could.
If each couple spent just one-quarter of what a traditional couple does on a wedding, that could mean $23.3 million spent here that otherwise wouldn’t be. That would probably mean a couple of a million dollars in tax revenue too.
And that’s just locals. He said there was no way to calculate quickly how many out-of-state gay couples would come to Las Vegas to get married if they could do so legally.
After all, more than 100,000 straight couples already are doing it every year.
In Massachusetts, state legislators made it clear that they repealed the “1913 law” that prevented non-resident s-s couples from marrying there because it was a simple matter of justice and fairness. But they acknowledged, and local business is panting at the fact, that s-s marriage tourism is expected to be a real economic windfall.
Consider these numbers: An estimated 32,200 same-sex couples from elsewhere would travel to the state to get married over the next three years. That would pump $111 million into the economy and yield another $5 million in marriage license fees and sales and occupancy taxes.
Bottom line, people who persist in preventing marriage equality are anti-business and are against the economic development of their state. Marriage equality isn’t just in the best interest of same-sex couples, it is in the best economic interests of their state. Voters in California, Florida and Arizona need to think long and hard about how much cash they’re willing to lose to Massachusetts and beyond.
Cross-posted at PHB.