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How much can same-sex marriage add to Colorado's economy?

On Feb. 21, we told you about a lawsuit that is currently in the legal system in Colorado that seeks to have the state's ban on same-sex marriage ruled unconstitutional. Currently, same-sex couples are allowed to enter into a civil union; however, that could change depending on the outcome of the lawsuit. One recent study, though, has looked into the effect that same-sex marriage would have on Colorado's economy.

The study was done by researchers at UCLA Williams Institute. It found that if Colorado was to legalize same-sex marriages, it could be a boon to the state's economy -- to the tune of $50 million over the course of three years.

Census data puts the number of same-sex couples in Colorado at 12,000. The study used data from other states and found that if same-sex marriage was legalized, almost half of those couples would be married during that three-year period. According to the reports, "If the State of Colorado grants same-sex couples the right to marry, we predict that the State will see a surge in spending related to weddings by same-sex couples who currently reside in Colorado, as well as an increase in tourism spending by wedding guests from other states."

The study also states that approximately $10 million of the estimated $50 million would be from guests attending the weddings. The other $40 million would come from the actual wedding ceremonies and related affairs.

As an ending note to the study, it states that Colorado would benefit economically from allowing same-sex marriage and that same-sex marriage isn't "all about religious beliefs of what's right and wrong."

This issue is not only about same-sex marriage, but it's also about the right to divorce. Same-sex couples who were married in another state or have sought a civil union can face the same difficulties as those in opposite-sex marriages. It's important to know your legal rights and options, and a family law attorney can provide that information.

Source: Townhall.com, "Study: Gay Marriage Could add $50 Million to Colorado's Economy" Heather Ginsberg, Apr. 04, 2014

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