Study: Legalization of gay marriage could positively impact Florida’s economy

Author: Alec Schreck
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla.- A recent Washington Post story claims states that still haven’t legalized same sex marriage are missing out on a lot of money.

The same article pointed out that the two states with the most to gain financially are Texas and Florida.

A new study says Florida stands to gain $182 million if gay marriage is allowed. The Williams Institute looked at states that still outlaw same sex marriage to see the financial impact.

A Southwest Florida event planner says she’s ready to embrace gay marriage and the new business it will bring.

“If you think about the percentages of people who are gay, who now can get married, what that adds to the mix. It certainly has an impact,” said Pamela Beckman, owner of Bon Soiree.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are almost 50,000 same sex couples in Florida. The Williams Institute study noted that states which legalized gay marriage saw half of those couples get married within 3 years.

“Of course its an economic boom  because prior to that, even if people had made a commitment, they didn’t necessarily wrap it up in the pomp and circumstance if they weren’t allowed to make it official. It was almost as if they weren’t allowed to have all of the accoutrements that go with that,” said Beckman.

The State of Florida currently has a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as one man and one woman. That amendment faces several legal challenges.

Beckman says she’d be happy to see her client base expand to include legally married gay couples.

“I’m a sucker for family ties and love and knowing that people make those commitments. So that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy seeing the family celebrations and this is just one more way they’ve now been afforded the opportunity to celebrate as well.”

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