Statement verbatim, as issued Tuesday by the Freedom to Marry group:
INDIANAPOLIS – In a new study released today by the Williams Institute, the State of Indiana could see a significant economic boost if same-sex couples were allowed the freedom to marry. According to estimates, more than 5,500 couples would choose to marry in Indiana over the next three years, resulting in a potential increase of $39 million to Indiana’s economy.
“This is a very solid and conservative estimate of the travel and tourism impact of same sex marriages in Indiana,” said Dr. Michael Hicks, Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and Professor of Economics at Ball State University, “However, it understates the broader benefits to less government intrusion into the private lives of Hoosiers. Moreover, given the growing prominence of Indianapolis as a strong Midwestern city, this likely boosts the prospects of increased relocation of corporate headquarters and higher paying technology sector jobs.”
“Of course, the right to marry whom you love is good for all business, especially in the event industry,” added Monica Richard, the State Coordinator of the Association of Bridal Consultants and owner of Mon Amie Events, Inc with over 15 years experience in the wedding industry, “Indiana loses revenue every time same-sex couples travel to states like Illinois that have already embraced the freedom to marry. As a Hoosier business owner, I think we need to live up to what we do best: making our state a welcoming place that is open for business and eager to create new jobs.”
“This study presents another compelling reason why it would be foolish to amend our constitution to prohibit same sex marriage, and also demonstrates how important it is that Indiana embrace an image of being welcoming to all,” said Minority Leader Senator Tim Lanane, (D) Anderson.
The report also shows an expected increase of $25 million in the first year alone with a prospective 564 new full and part-time jobs being generated in Indiana from increased business.
In light of this encouraging study, Chris Paulson of Indiana Equality Action released the following statement: “The state of Indiana cannot afford to miss opportunities to create jobs and increase our revenue. Opposition to marriage for gay and lesbian couples not only has a negative impact on the financial health of real families, it also hurts our entire state economy. We should be working to attract more people and business here, not discouraging it. We can take a huge step forward by welcoming same-sex couples and allowing them the freedom to marry.”