A new study claims that Wyoming is missing out on millions of dollars of lost business by not legalizing same sex marriage.
The study comes from the Williams Institute, a think tank housed at the University of California Los Angeles. It claims that Wyoming would see over two million dollars in new revenues in the first few years after gay marriage is legalized.
That money would come from local couples spending on their weddings, as well as out of state couples coming to Wyoming as a destination. The study estimates there are 329 same sex couples living in Wyoming that would get married quickly if possible.
Jeran Artery is chairman of Wyoming Equality, a group that advocates for gay rights. He says he wants Wyomingites to realize that gay people deserve the same respect as everyone else.
“And I would hope ultimately that that would be the reason that people are changing their minds,” he said in a phone interview. “But I am a realist, and I have seen the conversations about money in this state. I know that dollars speak volumes.”
Artery says same sex marriage would greatly benefit small businesses like local restaurants and florists.
Wyoming Advocacy has filed a legal challenge to Wyoming’s ban on gay marriage. The first hearings in the case should take place this fall.