Posted: June 20, 2008 - 11:00 am ET
(Trenton, New Jersey) LGBT rights activists are stepping up their pressure on New Jersey lawmakers to take up legislation that would convert the state's civil unions law to provide for marriage.
Presently California stands as the sole recipient of the same-sex tourism and wedding windfall because, unlike Massachusetts which limits marriage licenses only to people from areas where the marriages would be legal, California has opened the marriage gate to same-sex couples from across the country.
It predicts that, based on the experience of Massachusetts, half of New Jerseys 21,178 same-sex couples will want to marry, leading to 10,589 weddings. Another 45,831 out-of-state couples are likely to travel to New Jersey to marry.
This economic lift will also likely generate over 800 new jobs in the state the study found.
"In a tough economic climate, marriage can directly benefit the New Jersey budget in a direct, tangible, and substantial way," said economist M.V. Lee Badgett, co-author of the study and research director of The Williams Institute.