Report: Marriage equality could mean millions to Illinois

WiG

A new analysis shows that marriage equality would strengthen thousands of Illinois families and boost the state economy at no cost to taxpayers.

The Williams Institute, a leading research arm of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, conducted the review in Illinois, where the proposed Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act is pending.

“This report affirms that there are no reasons in logic or law why thousands of Illinois couples and their children should be deprived of the same legal protections and social and community support that other families enjoy,” said Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois, a statewide LGBT civil rights group.

EI’s public policy director, Randy Hannig, said lobbyists would use the report as they discuss the bill with legislators and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

“When the state is struggling to raise every dollar possible, it is good to point to marriage equality as something that costs taxpayers nothing, serves to improve the state’s business environment and brings in millions of dollars in revenue,” Hannig said.

The analysis found that extending marriage to same-sex couples would benefit 23,049 same-sex couples in Illinois, including an estimated 3,831 couples raising more than 7,662 children.

The research also found that allowing same-sex couples to marry would have positive effects on the Illinois economy and tax revenues because weddings by resident Illinois couples would generate between $39 million and $72 million for the state economy, creating $4.5 million to $8 million in new sales and lodging tax revenues over three years.

The analysis can be found at http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/.

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