How Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Will Affect the Economy

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Gay Marriage Mississippi
Jeff Amy/AP
By Krystal Steinmetz

Brace yourselves for wedding bells and an economic windfall.

The Supreme Court's recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage across the United States will drive an estimated $2.6 billion in spending over the next three years, leading to $185 million in state and local tax revenue, and creating at least 13,000 jobs, according to a December 2014 report by the Williams Institute, a think tank based at the UCLA School of Law.

"Same-sex couples and their out-of-town guests spend money to celebrate weddings," said Williams Institute Distinguished Scholar M.V. Lee Badgett in a statement. "As we have seen in states that already extend marriage to same-sex couples, this spending boost can lead to an influx of tourism dollars that benefit local businesses and an increase in state and local tax revenue."

While the wedding industry will receive the most obvious boon from the legalization of gay marriage, other businesses also stand to benefit, from airlines and hotels to stores that sell wedding gifts and attire for wedding guests.

Before last week's Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, 13 states outlawed the practice. Based on projections from the Williams Institute, these five states that had same-sex marriage bans in effect before the ruling will benefit the most from gay marriages over the next three years:
  1. Texas: The Lone Star State can expect a $181.6 million boost from same-sex marriages.
  2. Georgia: Marriage equality means an extra $78.8 million will flow into the state economy.
  3. Ohio: The Buckeye State can expect a $70.8 million economic boost over the next three years.
  4. Michigan: Over the next few years, the state economy of Michigan can expect an extra $53.2 million because of marriage equality.
  5. Tennessee: Marriage equality means a $36.7 million boost to the economy in Tennessee.
For more about the potential economic impact from marriage equality, click here.

Also, check out "15 Ways to Save Big on Your Dream Wedding."

What do you think about the potential economic windfall of same-sex marriages? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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