Bucks from brides and grands from grooms: gay marriage enriches economy

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Same sex weddings will drop an estimated $42 million dollars into the Minnesota economy in the next three years, says a story in the Star Tribune.

About half of Minnesota’s 10,207 same-sex couples will marry in the first three years that they can legally do so, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA’s law school. The Institute, a think tank that focuses on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues, predicts that 3,100 of those marriages will occur in the first year, creating a 10 percent increase in the number of marriages performed in the state.

Vendors including same-sex-friendly photographers, florists, jewelers, stylists, limo drivers and bakeries are promoting their wares to couples via the Wedding Equality Minnesota website created by Project 515, a gay rights advocacy group. The online directory, launched the last weekend of June, adds about a half dozen new businesses every day.

“We knew the demand was there, but when we hit that 300 benchmark last week, we knew we had really hit on something,” said Eric Jensen, a spokesman for the group.

Lavender Magazine features photographs of couples who got engaged following the passage of Freedom to Marry in Minnesota in May. It includes pictures from a photo session of couples who entered a Facebook contest.

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