|Our DC Marriage Certificate - Virginia is across the Potomac in the background|
Not only does Virginia's anti-gay animus motivated Marshall-Newman Amendment cause talented gays and liberal Millennials to leave Virginia, but it also is a drain on Virginia's economy. Or at least that is the conclusion of a think tank that has evaluated the economic cost of Virginia's anti-gay bigotry. Having married in Washington, D.C., myself I can attest to the fact that the DC economy benefited from Virginia's bigotry in the form of expenditures made in Washington rather than here in Virginia. Given the number of friends getting married outside of Virginia, the dollar amount truly adds up. Here are highlights from the Richmond Times Dispatch:
A report by a think tank at UCLA says legalizing gay marriages in Virginia could generate up to $60 million in spending in three years.
The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that about 7,000 same-sex couples may choose to get married in Virginia within three years of a change in law.
The report says the increased spending on wedding arrangements and by tourists would likely generate up to $3.2 million in state and local tax revenue.
The Republic provides additional details:
The report also estimates that Virginia has already likely lost tens of millions of dollars in spending and more than $1 million in tax revenue as same-sex couples decided to marry in Washington, D.C. and other states where it's been legalized.
"This report clearly shows that allowing lesbian and gay couples to marry in Virginia is not only the right thing to do, but would also have a positive impact on our economy," James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, said in a statement Tuesday.
"The ban is not only hurting loving lesbian and gay couples in Virginia - it is also hurting our economy. This report shows that all Virginians would benefit from marriage equality."
The report estimates that same-sex couples in Virginia would spend about $7,000 per wedding, which is significantly less than the $28,000 spent on the typical wedding in Virginia. The report says the estimated price tag is lower, in part, because same-sex couples receive less support from their parents. Based on Massachusetts' experience, the report estimates that each same-sex wedding would include 16 out-of-state guests.
The report says the increased spending on wedding arrangements and tourism would create between 459 and 595 jobs within three years.
Virginia is missing out on economic benefit and losing contributing members of society all so that hate filled bigots like Del. Bob Marshall and Victoria Cobb - and black pastors who act like white Christofascists trained circus dogs - can feel superior and avoid facing the fact that their ignorance embracing form of Christianity is dying - largely because of them.