Tourism to jobs: How Chile’s same-sex marriage law could lift the economy

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12/22/2021

LONDON/SAO PAULO, Dec 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – At his LGBT-friendly boutique hotel in Chile’s capital, Will Martin is hoping the country’s decision this month to legalise same-sex marriage will draw in newlywed couples eager to celebrate. “Visibility is something people take very seriously,” Martin said by phone from The Aubrey in Santiago. “They want to be seen, proud and open about what they do.” But as more countries legalise same-sex weddings, researchers and LGBT+ activists say the economic benefits of marriage equality extend far beyond wedding celebrations and honeymoons, and can give nations an important competitive edge. “Marriage equality is still pretty rare around the world,” said MV Lee Badgett, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “It is still something that sends a very powerful signal – and to businesses and tourists that can make a big difference,” said Badgett, who has been studying the economic impact of LGBT+ inclusion on countries since the mid-1990s.

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