HRC Blog

The Financial Case for Marriage Equality in Pennsylvania

As Pennsylvania prepares for a legal challenge to the state’s ban on marriage equality, the state is losing out on millions in revenue from marriage-related spending.

An article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer details the windfall that area states are reaping after they embraced marriage equality.

“In New York City, officials say the first full year of legal same-sex marriage brought $16 million in direct revenue to the city, among $259 million in economic impact for hotels, restaurants, caterers, and wedding suppliers,” according to the Inquirer article. “The 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses issued between July 2011 and 2012 represented more than 10 percent of 75,000 total licenses. For those gay weddings, 200,000 guests traveled to the five boroughs from outside the city, booking 235,000 hotel-room nights at an average daily rate of $275, according to a study released by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.”

“Maryland same-sex couples will spend an estimated $63 million on weddings in the next three years,” the article says.

Taxes and fees bring in millions more.

Meanwhile, Texas loses out on about $60 million a year in wedding-related revenue, due to its ban on gay marriage, the article says.

The article cites Philadelphia's score of 109 on HRC's Municipal Equality Index as an example of how the city has worked to be more welcoming of the LGBT community.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced last week that she will not defend the state’s same-sex marriage ban against a challenge filed by 10 same-sex couples and one widow. The state general counsel is taking over the case.

Help work for HRC’s mission in Pennsylvania – find out more about the HRC Greater Philadelphia Steering Committee.

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