Same-sex marriage could boost economy

Same-sex marriage could boost economy

SPRINGFIELD -- Legalizing same-sex marriage could bring a boost to the state's economy according to a new report released by UCLA.
SPRINGFIELD -- Legalizing same-sex marriage could bring a boost to the state's economy according to a new report released by UCLA. It says the Land of Lincoln would rake in millions annually. WCIA-3's Brittany Harris has more.

"I could probably do one every week if I could, but I've already got them booked through next June."

Pat O'Connor owns Fifth Street Flower Shop. Between weddings, holidays and other special events, he's always got a new bouquet to make.

"Yeah, we stay pretty busy with everything."

He says business is doing well. But, it could soon get even better.

"Everyone's going to be affected by it as far as the increase in business, the type of business and, you know, just weddings in general."

He's talking about same-sex marriage. Some lawmakers are pushing to legalize it.

The move wouldn't just give couples more benefits.It would also help the economy. That's according to a new report released by UCLA. It found same-sex marriages could generate millions for the state.

"It's going to boost receptions. It's going to boost flowers. It's going to boost everything related to weddings."

"Every year a certain percentage of the heterosexual population gets married and that's just an ongoing income for the wedding business. This is going to be a land rush."

Buff Carmichael is an advocate for same-sex marriage. He says there will be definite perks for the economy, but he says the boost won't be as big if lawmakers take too long to legalize it.

"If Kentucky passes it or something like that, then that means more people will be crossing over state lines and get married. The more people who do that, the less they're going to get in Illinois."

As for O'Connor, he says business is business and is happy to help whoever walks in the door.

"We do flowers for everything, so that's what we're here for."

The Marriage Equality bill was picking up steam, but now it's at a stand-still in the House. It's something opponents are happy about. They think marriage should remain between a man and woman.

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