BY ALDEN WICKER
Out of the nearly 650,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. only about 50,000 have married, according to the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA. The New York comptroller’s office estimated that the legalization of gay marriage in New York State last year would add $142 million to New York City’s economy from wedding-related purchases and tourism revenue in the three years after the law’s passage. The state economy could stand to gain another estimated $184 million. The additional tourism alone will generate an estimated 2,000 jobs.
Looking at the entire picture, if same-sex marriage rights were granted nationwide, such marriages would generate a net $1 billion each year for the federal budget over the next ten years, according to a 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office, mainly because the government would now start raising extra money in taxes from gay couples. That even takes into account the fact that newly married gay couples would also qualify for more tax breaks, and the government would pay out more to them for health care benefits and Social Security.
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