Same-sex marriage remains illegal in Ohio. But a Columbus economic analyst says voters and policy makers need to consider the financial value of marriage equality.
Bill LaFayette of Regionomics says from the flowers to the caterer, there are many services, vendors and suppliers involved in planning a wedding. LaFayette says if Ohio were to allow same-sex marriage, the state's gross domestic product could increase by 126 million dollars. And the former Columbus Chamber of Commerce analyst says there would be ongoing benefits.
LaFayette projects 930 new jobs would be created in the first year of legal same-sex marriage. He notes one-third of Ohio college graduates leave to take jobs out of the state, but Ohio could attract top talent and jobs by allowing same-sex marriage.
Ohio voters banned same-sex marriage in 2004. Supporters are working to get a repeal measure onto the 2014 ballot. Former Republican Ohio Attorney General and State Auditor Jim Petro has endorsed the effort.