Finance | May 30, 2020 8:00 am

Gay Marriage Has Been a Billion-Dollar Boon to the US Economy

Love wins, and so does the wedding industrial complex

two men holding hands
Congrats to all the LGBTQ couples who now know the joy of blowing thousands of dollars on a single day.
Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Love is love, and outrageously expensive weddings are outrageously expensive.

Since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide in the United States in 2015, LGBTQ couples have been free to join straight people in the beautiful tradition of blowing tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a wedding. In the five years since same-sex couples’ legally-sanctioned entry into the wedding industrial complex, LGBTQ weddings have boosted state and local economies by an estimated $3.8 billion, Reuters reported.

According to a recent study from the Williams Institute at California’s UCLA School of Law, nearly 300,000 same-sex couples have wed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, giving a sizable boost to the U.S. economy in just five years.

In addition to the $3.2 billion spent on weddings alone, researchers found that wedding guests dropped about $544 million on travel. The events generated an additional $244 million in state and local taxes, while also supporting about 45,000 jobs.

By the time of the 2015 Supreme Court decision, approximately 242,000 same-sex couples had already wed in the United States since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003. According to the study, that total has more than doubled in the past five years, with more than half a million LGBTQ couples marrying in the United States.

Earlier this week, Costa Rica became the latest nation to legally recognize same-sex marriage, a decision estimated to boost the nation’s economy by up to $592 million.

Love wins, and apparently so does the economy.

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