The benefits of marriage equality (for economists)

Umesh Chauhan - October 06, 2017

Yes, Iā€™m writing this article ā€“ hammering home my stance on same-sex marriage, and showcasing the undeniable positive benefits that marriage equality will allow for not only the Australian social and mental health landscapes, but also to the economy and business.

Wedding expenditure in Australia is set to increase by a whopping $500m, with each wedding costing $51,000 on average. When marriage equality laws were passed in Massachusetts, the economy saw an increase in $111m over five years ā€“ in the state alone.

Local weddings mean local business revenue. Australian same-sex couples will reinvest funds into the Australian economy (rather than spending overseas), and foreign same-sex couples marrying and honeymooning in Australia will further boost this. For example, since New Zealand legalised same-sex marriage, 6,000 couples travelled to NZ for the sole purpose of either marrying or honeymooning.

As Australia is marketed as a tolerant, increasingly more progressive country, we should expect to see increased travel to our country, with growth beginning in the tourism industry spreading across the economy. Similarly, we are setting ourselves up to be a top attractor for talent.

In terms of benefits to business, with discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community a large inhibitor to labour productivity and labour potential, we will see increased productivity, higher talent attraction, a decreased chance of consumer backlash and a reduced risk of boycotts.

Furthermore, legislation which backs equality will improve both social and welfare outcomes, resulting in reduced social exclusion and lesser psychological distress for those in the LGBTQIA+ community, who are twice as likely to experience high to extreme levels of stress.

If you need more economic reasons to vote yes on marriage equality, the ANZ has listed five immediate economic benefits from marriage equality here. (And this article was written in 2015.) What else is there left to say? Vote yes.

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