Same-sex marriages could mean economic boost for Wisconsin

CREATED Jun 11, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee residents Joan and Kari did not want to travel to another state to get married.

"We had been talking about as soon as this is legal in the state of Wisconsin we really wanted to be one of the first," said Joan Fectau.
 
While they say they'd love to plan a big ceremony in Door County, for now, they just want to make sure their marriage is legal.
 
"I got the flowers and that's about all we got to do to plan," Kari Geroge said.
 
"We're doing a little something right after this and dinner tonight.  We'll probably do something this summer," Fectau said.
 
The head of Wisconsin's LGBT Chamber of Commerce argues legalizing gay marriage could bring in millions to the state.
 
"I think we are actually expected to see some great gains here in Wisconsin, and in particular I think we are going to see a lot of great gains because we're not going to find Wisconsin residents traveling out of state for ceremonies and weddings," said Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Jason Rae.
 
A study by the Williams Institute at UCLA is projecting Illinois could generate anywhere from $54 to $103 million dollars in new spending the first three years gay marriage is legalized.  
 
For Kari and Joan, it's about love, not money.  They agree, however, big money will be spent on weddings and receptions.
 
"I think people want to invest.  We're no different than heterosexuals.  We want to invest in a nice ceremony," Fectau said.