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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 Business Boost from Marriage Equality: Evidence from the Health and Marriage Equality in Massachusetts Survey

May 7, 2009

This brief draws on two sources of data, a survey and state-collected tax revenue data, and finds that marriages have had a positive economic effect on Massachusetts -- likely providing a boost of over $100 million to the state economy. Same-sex couples' weddings injected significant spending into the Massachusetts economy and brought out-of-state guests to the state, whose spending also added to the economic boost.

Cost of Florida's Ban on Adoption by GLB Individuals and Same-Sex Couples

March 12, 2009

This memo estimates the impact on children and the cost to the State of Florida of the current prohibition on adoption by gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) individuals and same-sex couples. We use data about the number of children adopted each year as a way to estimate the number of GLB individuals and same-sex couples who would be likely to serve as adoptive parents if the ban were not in place. Prohibiting GLB individuals and same-sex couples from adopting means that 165 children must remain in foster care or must have alternative adoptive homes recruited for them. As a result, we estimate that the ban costs the State of Florida over $2.5 million in per year. As explained below, this estimate is conservative since some likely additional costs are difficult to quantify. In addition, because of the current prohibition on GLB individuals and same-sex couples adopting children in Florida, it is possible that more GLB individuals and same-sex couples would be interested in adopting if the ban were lifted. We estimate that if the ban were lifted, both adoption and foster care by GLB individuals and same-sex couples would increase to the average United States level, leading to 219 children being adopted, and saving the State of Florida $3.4 million dollars in the first year.

Kentucky Foster Care/Adoption Ban Cost Estimate

February 24, 2009

This memo estimates the impact on children and the cost to the State of Kentucky of Senate Bill 68, "The Child Welfare Adoption Act," which would prohibit unmarried cohabiting couples -- including both different-sex couples and same-sex couples -- from fostering or adopting children. We use past data to estimate the number of children in foster care who were placed with unmarried couples as a way to estimate the number of impacted children in the first year the proposed legislation would take effect. Prohibiting unmarried couples from fostering or adopting would reduce the number of foster and adoptive families available to care for the 7,027 children currently in foster care. We estimate that 630 foster children will be removed from their current homes and placements during the first year that the ban is in effect. In addition, 85 children in foster care will either not be adopted or remain in foster care longer because the ban will prohibit their adoption by unmarried couples. As a result, the ban will cost the State of Kentucky over $5.3 million in the first year. As explained below, this estimate is conservative since some likely additional costs are difficult to quantify.

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.