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Reality Check: Economic Impact Of Gay Marriage

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota House has scheduled a vote for Thursday on the bill that would legalize same sex marriage.

And on Tuesday a state Senate committee voted to approve the bill.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are looking at the economic impact of same sex marriage in Minnesota.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates more than 10,000 same-sex couples live in Minnesota, and that about half of them will get married within the first three years of legal same-sex marriage.

The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law puts the economic benefit of same sex marriage at $42 million, including:

– $28 million for a rush of weddings.

– $14 million generated by out of town guests.

– $3 million in tax revenues.

– And 238 new jobs, mostly in tourism.

But that’s not the whole story.

A state financial analysis of the impact of gay marriage on the state found there will be a cost to taxpayers — $630,000 in the first year of gay marriage.

That’s because the spouses of an estimated 114 newly married gay state workers will apply for health care and other benefits. But the spouses of 24,298 heterosexual state workers currently get benefits worth $165 million.

On the other hand, economic activity spiked in states with gay marriage. From $60 million in the first gay marriage state, Massachusetts, to $5 million in New Hampshire.

MA — $60 million
CT — $16 million
VT — $5 million
IA — $8 million
NH — $5 m

Here are some of the sources for this Reality Check:

Fiscal Note 2013-14.

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