Allowing same sex marriage will be beneficial to the economy of Florida, a new study has suggested.
Researchers from a think tank based at the UCLA School of Law claim that the state would benefit by $117 million in the first year alone. They cited weddings, tourism and the possible creation of up to 2,600 new jobs.
In 2008, the voters of Florida approved an amendment to the state constitution which prohibited same sex marriage. The amendment defines marriage as the union of a man and woman. It further stipulates that “no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized”.
Opponents of the ban claim the state’s refusal to recognise same sex marriages performed in other states violates Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution. This section, commonly known as the “Full Faith and Credit Clause”, says that every state in the union must recognise the “public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state”.
In July, three state judges in Florida ruled against the state’s ban, calling it “unconstitutional”.
There are now 27 states where gay marriage is either legal or where a judge has said it should be. In June a judge in Wisconsin overturned the state’s prohibition against gay marriage.
Photo of the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee by Matt Spence via Flickr