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    Portland, Maine

    Gay marriage laws to generate spending

    A national think tank says new gay marriage laws in Maine, Maryland, and Washington could generate about 165 million in wedding spending in the next three years. The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law estimates that nearly 18,000 same-sex couples in the three states will exchange vows in the first three years after the new laws are in effect. Wedding-related spending for in-state couples is expected be about $16 million in Maine, $63 million in Maryland, and $89 million in Washington. The estimates do not include out-of-state same-sex couples who travel to those states to marry. Lee Badgett, research director at the institute and an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says the additional spending will create new jobs and boost tax revenues.