New reports shows positive impact from marriage equality in Iowa

Wed. December 7, 2011 12:11 PM by News Staff

Des Moines, IA - A new report released Wednesday shows a positive economic impact in Iowa following the historic 2009 marriage ruling that extended marriage rights to same-sex couples.

The report by the Williams Institute found that marriage equality has had an estimated $12 to $13 million financial impact in Iowa, resulting in an additional $850,000 to $930,000 in revenue for local and state government.

"These figures are more than dollars and cents, they represent people who are working today because of the historic Varnum ruling,"said Troy Price, One Iowa Executive Director. "Our opponents continue to try and take away marriage equality and erase the financial impact that marriage has on our communities and our state."

The report, which draws upon figures indicating average wedding expenditures in Iowa and tourism reports from 2009 and 2010, was issued at the request of State Senator and former One Iowa Board Member Matt McCoy.

"This report is hard proof that marriage equality has had a positive impact on our state and that the hard line and hurtful stance against equality by opponents holds no water," said Sen. McCoy, a Democrat.

According to figures from the State of Iowa, at least 2,099 same-sex couples married during the first year following the Iowa ruling. Of those marriages, 866 couples lived in Iowa and 1,233 couples came from other states, including Illinois.

Illinois State Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) made history in August when she crossed the state border to marry Christin Baker. Mell became the first elected official in Illinois to enter into a same-sex marriage.

One Iowa is the state's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, committed to full equality for LGBT individuals, including the freedom to marry.