Same-sex marriage could bring $1 billion tourism boost to Australia

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Same-sex marriage could bring a massive economic boost if legalised in Australia.

The tourism and finance industries believe that Australia could be a hot destination for same-sex weddings and that it could boost the country’s economy by AUD $1 billion in the first year.

The Queensland Department of Tourism says legalising same-sex marriage could result in a number of key economic benefits.

“We could see increased spending relating to honeymoon expenditure, including travel and accommodation, wedding planning, increased catering services and out-of-state wedding guests,” a spokesperson said.

Beautiful and tasty wedding cake at wedding reception (Photo: halfpoint)

“Increased spending generated by same-sex couples will create additional jobs.

“State Government revenue from same-sex marriage licence fees and from conducting ceremonies in state-run registries of births, deaths, and marriage [would rise].

“State and Commonwealth Governments will [also] benefit directly from the increase in spending through a range of taxes.”

Economists from ANZ, Cherelle Murphy and Mandeep Kaura, told ABC News that they had looked into the economics of same-sex marriage.

“If half of the population of same-sex couples chose to marry within one year, the benefits to the economy in the first year of the legislation would be over $1 billion,” they said.

They drew their conclusions from the 2011 Census which found that there were 34,000 openly gay couples in Australia.

46,000 couples told the last census that they were in same-sex relationships.

The issue of same-sex marriage has proven extremely divisive in recent weeks.

Macklemore played at the NRL grand final this weekend in Australia, and despite complaints played his ‘Same Love’ same-sex marriage anthem.

The crowd were clearly overjoyed by the performance by Macklemore and Mary Lambert at the Australian National Rugby League final.

The rapper, as well as performing the song, made a plea for equality at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 01: Macklemore performs prior to the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

“This is an issue that I feel strongly about, that I feel passionate about. These people are human beings that should have the exact same rights as everybody else,” he told the crowds.

He also changed the lyrics to Same Love to “the country” being united by love.

“Performing Same Love in Australia is not about being political,” Lambert told the Advocate on Thursday.

“It’s about being human.”

Watch the performance below:

As Australia votes on equal marriage, controversy erupted over plans for rapper Macklemore’s setlist to perform at the country’s National Rugby League Grand Final.

The song reached number one in Australia despite calls for a homophobic song to be performed for “balance”.

Politicians in the country have demanded Macklemore be banned from performing his 2013 gay anthem Same Love, with former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the de facto leader of the anti-gay marriage lobby, wading into the row to call for the song to be banned.

Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton claimed that an anti-gay marriage song should be played alongside it to ‘balance’ the event, though he didn’t actually specify any such song that actually exists.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 01: Macklemore performs prior to the 2017 NRL Grand Final match between the Melbourne Storm and the North Queensland Cowboys at ANZ Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

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Macklemore hit back at Tony Abbott earlier this week.

He said: “I’m getting a lot of tweets from angry, old white dudes in Australia… I think there is a petition to ban me from playing it.

“It’s interesting times in Australia… I’mma go harder!”

The Coalition for Marriage, which has often claimed it supports “freedom of speech”, had claimed it was “bizarre that the NRL would choose to use its half-time entertainment to push a message which it knows millions of Australians disagree with”.

Abbott, who was booed during his appearance at the final in 2014, wrote on Twitter: “Footy fans shouldn’t be subjected to a politicised grand final. Sport is sport!”

Earlier this week, Mr Abbott’s own daughter Frances Abbott appeared in an advert for the Yes campaign.

“You can’t help who you fall in love with,” she said in the advert.

“Love just happens sometimes and it’s unexpected and that’s kind of what’s the awesome thing about it.”

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott (Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

Mr Abbott, who led the country until he wad deposed in an internal party coup in 2015, has called on Australians to vote against equality against the wishes of his own sister Christine Forster, who is waiting for the right to marry her same-sex partner.

Abbott stunned the country last month when he appeared to suggest it would be “best” for Ms Forster’s children to be raised by a straight couple.

Mr Abbott recently stirred controversy when he visited US-based extremist lobbying group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) – despite the group allegedly pressuring countries around the world to keep sodomy laws banning gay sex.