US: New study cites benefits of same-sex marriage for all of Michigan

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Lifting the current stayed ruling on same-sex marriage in Michigan would generate an estimated $53.2 million (£32.06) in spending to the state’s economy, according to a new study.

It would also generate over 500 new jobs over three years.

Lee Badgett, author of the study released by the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law, said: “This study confirms that all Michiganders benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community.”

On 21 March, US District Court Judge Bernard Friedman ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage in Michigan was unconstitutional. Shortly after, more than 300 couples were issued marriage licenses by county clerks.

That same weekend, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state’s request for a stay leaving those couples’ marriages in question.

Michigan governor, Rick Snyder, said the marriages were “legal and valid”, but that the state would not recognise them.

According to researchers, extending marriage to same-sex couples would result in over 4,600 marriages in the first year alone, and bring up to $34 million (£20.88) in revenue to the state of Michigan that year.

The study also noted that the total spent on wedding arrangements and tourism by same-sex couples and their guests, would add an estimated $53.2 million (£32.06) to the state and local economy over the course of three years.

Earlier this year the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Michigan, filed a lawsuit against the state over its refusal to recognise the 300 plus same-sex couples already married in the state.