Study: Same Sex Marriage Ban Costing Oklahoma Millions

Wednesday, August 20th 2014, 7:18 pm

By: News 9

While the ban on same-sex marriage in Oklahoma has been ruled unconstitutional, marriage ceremonies still cannot be performed. One study by a think-tank on LGBT issues has found that could be costing the state over $20 Million.

The Williams Institute out of UCLA has conducted studies across the nation on the economic impact of same-sex marriages. Now it's conducted one for Oklahoma, and it has the owner of this bridal shop asking, what if?

"Money's not everything, but you need it to survive," said Jane Kelly, Owner of JJ Kelly Bridal.

Kelly has turned the page on the state's ban of same-sex marriage, and it's paid off.

"Often times we'll sell two dresses. We don't do that with one bride," said Kelly.

Still, Kelly can't help but wonder just how much Oklahoma is missing out on by not actually performing same-sex nuptials.

"If you get married in Bora Bora, you're going to use their florists and their caterers," said Kelly.

So at the request of equality group Freedom Oklahoma, The Williams Institute found that over 3,000 same sex couples would marry in state within the first three years of legalization, creating over 200 jobs and generating nearly $20.5 million.

"This isn't just an issue of social justice, that's an important part, but it's also an issue of what's best for the state, what's best for business," said Troy Stevenson with Freedom Oklahoma.

News 9 sent a copy of the study to Governor Fallin's office and in response her office said, "Gay marriage is illegal in Oklahoma because Oklahoma voters chose to make it so through a Constitutional amendment."

"The fact the governor wouldn't even address the ‘bad for business' argument means that she's out of touch with what's going on in this country right now and she's out of touch with Oklahomans," said Stevenson.

For Jane, it's business as usual.

"I think if they want to get married they will get married. Unfortunately they are getting married elsewhere," said Kelly.

The Oklahoma ban on same sex marriage that was ruled unconstitutional, remains in a stay until an appeal is heard at the US Supreme Court.

Read more in the full report.


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