Consumer finance site NerdWallet has a new study out that estimates gay weddings could have a $26.6 million benefit to Hawaii in additional annual revenue.

The study, released Wednesday, is based on data from Gallup and U.S. Census records. The annual nationwide impact could top $2.5 billion.

Here are the pertinent local stats, according to NerdWallet:

  • Percentage of population that identifies as LGBT: 5.1 percent
  • Marriage rate by state: 1.0 percent
  • Population: 1,404,054
  • Estimated gay marriages in state: 723
  • Average cost of wedding: $36,802
  • Total added to state economy: $26,615,971

The figure NerdWallet cites for gay marriages in Hawaii may be low.

Todd Simmons, executive director of Equality Hawaii, wrote in a opinion piece this week for Civil Beat that state, “Nearly 1,900 same-sex marriages were performed in Hawaii from Dec. 2 – June 20, and with between 126 and 221 marriages performed each of those months, it’s reasonable to expect that at least 500 have been added to that total since June.”

Gay marriage couples

Same-sex couples pose for a photo before a joint wedding ceremony at the Sheraton Waikiki in December 2013.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign — self-billed as “the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization” — on Wednesday released its third annual report assessing LGBT equality in 353 cities across the nation.

They listed five cities in Hawaii (although I don’t know why the HRC made Manoa a city): HonoluluEast Honolulu, HiloPearl City and Manoa.

The study rates cities based on 47 criteria in under six categories:

  • Non-discrimination laws
  • Relationship recognition
  • Municipality’s employment policies, including transgender-inclusive insurance coverage, contracting non-discrimination requirements, and other policies relating to equal treatment of LGBT city employees
  • Inclusiveness of city services
  • Law enforcement
  • Municipal leadership on matters of equality

The average score for cities in Hawaii is 57 out of 100 points, which falls below the national average of 59.

About the Author