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Same-sex weddings put in US$3.8B in US economy since 2015

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Same-sex weddings put in US$3.8B in US economy since 2015

A study has determined that an estimated US$3.8 billion has boosted state and local economies ever since same-sex weddings were allowed in the US in 2015.

Moreover, almost 293,000 gay and lesbian couples have gotten married since the US Supreme Court decided in favor of same-sex marriage.

Spending breakdown on same-sex weddings

The study, which was conducted by researchers from the Williams Institute at California’s UCLA School of Law, found out that US$3.2 billion had been spent on weddings.

Meanwhile, traveling guests had spent an additional US$544 million with more than four million out-of-state guests attending these weddings since the high court decision.

That’s an average of 16 out-of-state guests for each wedding. Likewise, these events generated US$244 million in state and local taxes.

Further, around 45,000 jobs were generated to support weddings of same-sex couples in just a single year.

“Marriage equality has changed the lives of same-sex couples and their families,” said Christy Mallory, the study’s lead author state and local policy director at the Williams Institute.

“It has also provided a sizable benefit to business and state and local governments,” Mallory pointed out.

Marking the anniversary of Obergefell v Hodges

By June 26 of this year, it will be five years since the Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v Hodges legalizing gay marriage and extending marriage equality to the whole of the US.

Gay marriage was first approved in Massachusetts in 2003 with several states following suit. But these unions weren’t recognized by federal law.

By the time the high court gave their landmark decision, around 242,000 same-sex couples had already wed in 37 states allowing same-sex marriages.

In the first four months after the ruling was issued, around 96,000 same-sex couples wed, generating spending of US$813 million.

Interesting enough, same-sex couples spend slightly less than their heterosexual counterparts on their weddings.

A 2016 survey noted that same-sex newlyweds spent US$11,000 on weddings even as opposite-sex people spent US$15,000.

Sourcing the numbers for same-sex weddings

Researchers also estimate that there are 513,000 married same-sex couples in the US. Twenty-two percent of Americans in a same-sex marriage are now raising children– or over 112,000 married same-sex families.

The study used existing data to calculate their totals in unique ways. However, they didn’t use any estimates after March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, which had forced couples to cancel weddings.

For spending on weddings, they used the 2016 survey of the average amount a same-sex couple would spend and multiplied it with the number of same-sex couples that got married since June 2015.

Meanwhile, previous Williams Institute research suggested that the average same-sex wedding hosts an average of 16 guests that travel from out of state.

They then used data from state tourism bureaus and the US General Services Administration.

For tax generated, they looked at total sales of tax revenue from same-sex weddings. From June 2015 to March 2020, the average tax rate was 6.48 percent.

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