Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriage is costing the state’s LGBT community more than our dignity. According to a new study released today, it’s costing the state a cool $78.8 million.

So says UCLA’s Williams Institute, whose study found that more than 10,600 same-sex couples would marry in the first three years if the ban were struck down, resulting in that $78.8 million in economic impact, including $50 million generated in the first year alone.

The report also found that striking down the ban would create nearly 1,000 jobs due to the increased spending on the weddings and celebrations.

“Not only is marriage good for families and children, but this report also proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that marriage is good for business, too,” said Georgia Equality executive director Jeff Graham in a press release issued today. “As we continue to have the important conversation about what marriage means and why it matters, Georgians are rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is wrong to single out and exclude same-sex couples from marriage. We simply cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to make the State of Georgia a more welcoming place to live, raise a family, and start or grow a business.”

The group, along with several same-sex couples, showed up at Attorney General Sam Olens’ office last month to deliver more than 3,000 petitions urging him to drop the state’s defense of the ban. Olens decided to defend the ban regardless and filed a brief on behalf of state registrar Deborah Aderhold, a defendant in the class action federal lawsuit challenging the ban. His Democratic opponent in November’s election for attorney general, Greg Hecht, has stated that if elected he will not defend the ban.

psaunders@thegavoice.com | @patricksaunders

 

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