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The Effects of Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: A survey of the experiences and impact of marriage on same-sex couples

May 17, 2009

May 17th, 2009 marks the 5th year of marriage equality in the state of Massachusetts. To mark this anniversary, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health conducted the largest survey to date of married same-sex couples, the Health and Marriage Equality in Massachusetts (HMEM) survey. During the past year, four other states have extended marriage to same-sex couples and several other states are considering marriage legislation. The HMEM data allows us to address important questions that arise as other states consider whether to extend marriage to same-sex couples. The data provides answers to several key questions: Who is getting married? Why are same-sex couples getting married? What impact has marriage had on same-sex relationships? And, what impact has marriage had on the children of same-sex couples?

The Impact on Maine's Budget of Allowing Same-Sex Couples to Marry

April 9, 2009

This analysis estimates the impact of allowing same-sex couples to marry on Maine's state budget. We estimate that allowing same-sex couples to marry will result in a net gain of approximately $7.9 million each year for the State. This net impact will be the result of savings in expenditures on state means-tested public benefits programs and an increase in revenue from state sales and income taxes and marriage license fees. Throughout this report, we estimate the economic impact of weddings conservatively. In other words, we choose assumptions that are cautious from the State's perspective in that they tend to produce lower revenues and higher expenditures given the range of possibilities. Even so, we find that the effect of allowing same-sex couples to marry in Maine is an annual positive fiscal impact of approximately $7.9 million.

The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Vermont

March 1, 2009

Allowing same-sex couples to marry in Vermont would have a positive impact on the state economy, generating $31 million in new spending over the next three years. This new spending will generate 700 new jobs and an additional $3.3 million in state tax revenues.

The Economic Impact of Extending Marriage to Same-Sex Couples in Maine

February 1, 2009

This research study estimates that same-sex marriage in Maine, if permitted, would have a positive impact on the state's economy and budget. The study finds that same-sex weddings and associated tourism would generate $60 million in additional spending in Maine over three years, creating 1,000 new jobs. Due to this spending, the state and Maine counties would see an increase of $3.6 million in revenues over the next three years; the result of an increase of sales tax revenues of approximately $3.1 million and new marriage license fees of $500,000. In calculating the net benefit to the State, the study approximates that half of Maine's 4,644 same-sex couples, or 2,316 couples, would marry in the first three years that marriage is extended to them. The study also estimates that approximately 15,657 same-sex couples from other states would come to Maine to marry.

Evidence of Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Complaints Filed with State Enforcement Agencies, 1999-2007

November 1, 2008

To more accurately measure the effect of anti-discrimination laws, this report compares sex, race, and sexual orientation complaint rates through a population-adjusted model. Today, twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Of those, thirteen also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. An aggregation of all available state level data reveals that sexual orientation discrimination laws are used at similar frequencies by Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) workers as sex discrimination laws by female workers, both at 5 complaints per every 10,000 workers. Race complaints are filed at the higher rate of 7 per 10,000 workers.

Census Snapshot: California's Asian/Pacific Islander LGB Population

October 1, 2008

This report provides a general overview of Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) in same-sex couples as well as the broader API lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population in California. Key findings include more than 66,000 Asians and Pacific Islanders in California identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual and more than 14,500 APIs are part of a same-sex couple; over 34% of APIs in same-sex couples in California are of Filipino descent; nearly a third (31%) of API women and 21% of API men within same-sex couples are raising children; API same-sex parents have fewer financial resources to support their children than those in married couples, with an average household income of $96,290 compared to $109,091 for APIs in different-sex married couples.

Census Snapshot: California's Black LGB Population

October 1, 2008

This report provides a general overview of Black individuals in same-sex couples as well as the broader Black lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population in California. Key findings include an estimated 55,000 Black lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals live in California along with approximately 7,400 Black men and women in same-sex couples in the state; just under 9% of all Black men and women in same-sex couples in the United States live in California, second only to New York as the state with the most Black people in same-sex couples; almost 55% of Black women and 11% of Black men in same-sex couples are raising children; and, Black same-sex parents have fewer financial resources to support their children than those in married couples, with a median household income of $60,900 compared to $76,000 for Black people in different-sex married couples.

Census Snapshot: California's Latino/Latina LGB Population

October 1, 2008

This study provides demographic and economic information for the more than 200,000 LGB Latino/a individuals and 52,410 Latinos/as in same-sex couples living in California. The study shows that nearly half of Latinas and 44% of Latinos in same-sex couples in California are raising nearly 25,000 children. Other key findings include more than 12% of the nation's Latinos/as in same-sex couples live in California, home to the largest number of Latino/as in same-sex couples among all states and LGB Latinos/as having similar citizenship rates as their heterosexual counterparts; however, LGB Latinos/as are more likely to be citizens by birth as opposed to naturalization.

Census Snapshot: California Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Population

October 1, 2008

This report provides demographic and economic information for the almost 861,000 LGB individuals and 109,000 same-sex couples living in California. We use the 2005/2006 American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, to compare characteristics of same-sex couples to their different-sex married counterparts. We use data from the 2003 and 2005 California Health Interview Survey to consider demographic traits of the full lesbian, gay, and bisexual population in the state. The study shows nearly 25% of same-sex couples in California are raising more than 52,000 children. The study also shows that same-sex couples raising children have fewer economic resources than their heterosexual, married counterparts.

The Fiscal Impact of Extending Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners

September 1, 2008

This report finds that offering health and other benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees would add $41 million to the federal budget in the first year of coverage. Over ten years the report predicts the budgetary cost will be $675 million, a small percentage of the federal budget. The report also takes into account the added federal income taxes that will be paid by federal employees if they sign a partner up for health insurance. It estimates the cost of including partners in retirement benefits, work injury and death compensation, and travel and relocation expenses. Many benefits offered to federal employees, such as life insurance and family and medical leave, can be offered to domestic partners at no additional cost to the federal government.