Supporters of legalizing gay marriage in Ohio say it could yield $165 million for the state.
Freedom to Marry Ohio on Thursday released a report by Bill Lafayette of Regionomics LLC of Columbus titled Economic Impacts of Legalizing Marriage of Same-Gender Couples in Ohio
According to Lafayette's findings, approximately half of Ohio's 19,700 gay couples would marry if the state repealed its 2004 Constitutional ban on gay marriage and legalized the institution resulting in a $165 million economic impact over three years. The estimate includes money spent on weddings and wages paid to workers in the wedding industry.
"We can stop exporting weddings and watching dollars leave Ohio," said Mary Jo Kilroy, executive director of Freedom to Marry Ohio. "There has been a seismic shift in public opinion on accepting the freedom to marry. This is a great opportunity for Ohio to be a leader and to improve our economy as well."
Freedom to Marry Ohio in May began collecting signatures to put the state's gay marriage ban up for a vote next year.
Franklin County, which includes Columbus, has the most to gain with an estimated $20 million financial impact. Marriage equality could mean nearly $11 million for Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland.