A new study (view study here: http://bit.ly/1pZLXEg) released this week by UCLA’s Williams Institute shows that West Virginia’s economy is missing out on millions of dollars and potential jobs due to the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples.
According to the report’s estimates, more than 1,424 same-sex couples would choose to marry over the next three years, bringing a potential $9 million to West Virginia’s economy, with $5.8 million of that in the first year alone.
The report also predicts that up to 82 jobs would be created in the Mountain State due to the increased spending for same-sex couples’ weddings and celebrations.
The following statements can be attributed to Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia, the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization.
“We now have the proof that West Virginia’s marriage ban is doing real damage to our state’s economy. It’s time to end this discrimination and allow for West Virginia’s families and small businesses to benefit from the economics of equality.
“West Virginians know that family is the most important building block in the communities we live in and cherish. As more and more West Virginians talk with each other about why marriage matters, they understand that by welcoming same-sex couples into marriage, we would ultimately be both protecting and strengthening West Virginia’s families and communities.
“We all know that creating jobs and bringing much needed revenue to West Virginia must be a primary goal in order for our state to thrive. Lifting the statewide ban on marriage equality will add an estimated $9 million and attract nearly 100 new jobs to the Mountain State.
“It is time for West Virginia to end the marriage ban, allow same-sex West Virginians to protect their families, and grow our state’s economy through added jobs and tourism. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.”
Fairness West Virginia is the statewide civil rights advocacy organization dedicated to fair treatment and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender West Virginians. For more information on Fairness West Virginia, visit fairnesswv.org.
On behalf of FairnessWV