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Same-Sex Marriage Good for the Economy?

Advocates for gay marriage in Maryland got a boost this week from a new study that claims legalizing same-sex marriage would help the state economy.

Among the study's findings: Revenues from license fees from same-sex weddings would generate about $94 million a year. Same-sex couples would have a "positive impact" on the state budget of $3.2 milion annually, from income taxes to inheritance taxes.

The study was put out by the Williams Institute described by its public relations firm as a think tank dedicated to sexual orientation law and public policy. Williams is based at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The data will doubtless be used in the upcoming fight in the General Assembly to legalize same-sex marriage, as advocates turn to legislation to accomplish what their lawsuit against Maryland's same-sex marriage ban could not.

The study also provides a demographic snapshot of same-sex couples, who numbered 11,243 in Maryland in 2000, according to the U.S. Census. By 2005, the number jumped to 15,600. About 7,800 of those couples would marry if they could tie the knot legally.

Baltimore had the largest number of same-sex couples in 2000, with 2,118, followed by Montgomery County with 2.070 and Prince George's County with 1,680.

By Lisa Rein  |  November 29, 2007; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
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