Same sex marriage could generate up to $1 billion in first 12 months, report says

A report by ANZ has revealed major economic benefits from legalising same sex marriage, saying that if just half of same sex couples married in the first 12 months, there would be $1 billion in related spending.

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The research note released by ANZ’s co-head of economics Cherelle Murphy, and statistician Mandeep Kaura, said same sex marriage would provide a wide range of economic stimuli to the Australian economy.

“Whenever it happens, the rush of same-sex weddings would have a positive impact on activity and confidence, particularly in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory,” the report noted.

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“Marriage equality will be a fresh and much-needed source of demand for the Australian economy.”

The authors argued that if half the 34,000 same sex couples identified in the 2011 census were to marry, it would generate $1 billion in economic benefits to the Australian economy in the first 12 months.

The figure is based on the assumption that the number of couples would continue to grow at the same rate as between the 2006 to 2011 census to 38,000 couples by 2016.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome told SBS that if the federal government is serious about improving the economy, then it should also be serious about legalising same sex marriage now.

“Too often we hear from federal politicians that marriage equality is a second order issue that needs to wait until the economy is in order and generating more jobs, well the ANZ shows that in fact marriage equality will make a really important contribution to improving the economy, boosting small business and to generating more jobs, particularly in the small business sector,” Mr Croome said.

He also said that until same sex marriage was legalised, Australia would be losing the associated economic benefits.

“The report doesn’t just show that marriage equality will make an important contribution to boosting the economy, it also shows that we need to get on with this reform urgently as many same sex couples are going overseas to marry now and they are spending money on their weddings in other countries – money that could be spent here to help Australian businesses and generate Australian jobs,” he said.

The report outlines five key areas in which it argues legalising same sex marriage would provide an economic benefit.

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“It will complement the federal governments’ agenda of boosting the small-business sector and lift confidence by securing additional sources of demand for the many retailers, hospitality and professional service businesses involved in the wedding and honeymoon industry,” the authors wrote.

Five immediate economic benefits of marriage equalityExpenditure on weddings. This could benefit a range of industries including retail trade, hospitality, arts and recreation, professional services (pre-nuptial agreements and divorce).Increased service exports due to offshore visitors marrying and honeymooning in Australia.Increased state government revenue from same-sex marriage license fees and from conducting on-site ceremonies in state-run registries of births, deaths and marriages.There may also be a small boost to consumer confidence, given the change to marriage equality is a policy supported by the majority of Australians.