Study Finds Same-Sex Marriage Has Positive Economic Impact

Oct 14, 2014

Couples lining up in Eureka Springs to marry during a brief window allowing same-sex couples to wed in May.
Credit Jacqueline Froelich / KUAF

Research out of the UCLA School of Law Tuesday finds ending Arkansas’s ban on same-sex marriage could lead to an economic boost amounting to over $13 million of spending over three years. The study focuses on the direct impact to wedding services by comparing same-sex marriage rates in states where it is legal to the number of same-sex couples in Arkansas.

Study co-author Christy Mallory, with UCLA’s Williams Institute, said the influx of money to the state would likely fade over time.

“We do expect this to taper off and that’s primarily why just look at the first three years is to really measure that pent-up demand before it levels off. The first year is huge,” said Mallory.

Mallory said a more lasting economic impact might be attracting businesses and workers who are weary of moving to states with laws restricting institutions based on sexual identity.

“Anytime same-sex couples are looking at whether to move their families they’re going to look for laws and policies that are friendly and welcoming. Anything a state can do to foster that environment will help bring people into the state and help bring in money as well,” said Mallory

That's a sentiment one the state's chief economic officials Grant Tennille has previously voiced.

The 2010 Census shows over 4,200 same-sex couples reported themselves as residing in Arkansas.