Why bother dealing with marriage equality in this economic recession? Because now is when New Jersey needs marriage equality the most. Marriage equality would provide tax-free economic relief to the entire state, including you.
An independent study of New Jersey’s economy by The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School demonstrates that when New Jersey enacts marriage equality, “spending on tourism and weddings by same-sex couples would boost New Jersey’s economy by $248 million” over the next three years. See page 7 of the Williams Institute report, The Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples on the New Jersey Budget.
The study predicts that half of New Jersey’s 21,178 same-sex couples will want to marry, leading to 10,589 weddings. Another 45,831 out-of-state couples are likely to travel to New Jersey to marry. This economic lift will also likely generate more 800 new jobs in the state.
“In a tough economic climate, marriage can directly benefit the New Jersey budget in a direct, tangible, and substantial way,” explains economist M.V. Lee Badgett, co-author of the study and research director of The Williams Institute.
“The fiscal effects of same-sex marriage are undeniable, the sooner New Jersey expands marriage to same-sex couples, the sooner state and local governments receive much needed economic boosts,” notes study co-author Brad Sears, executive director of the Williams Institute.
Marriage equality would certainly provide economic relief to same-sex couples. When employers deny same-sex couples health benefits because the employers do not recognize civil unions as equal to marriage and thus disqualify employees’ partners from health coverage, the economic impact on families who have to pay for their health coverage during these tough times is devastating.