The $1.6 Billion Reason to Celebrate Gay Marriage
Life + Money

The $1.6 Billion Reason to Celebrate Gay Marriage

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters

At pride parades across the country this past weekend, LGBT couples and their friends and families celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

Related: SCOTUS Gay Marriage Decision Is About More Than Just ‘I Do’

Now, a new study shows the decision was not only historic from a civil rights perspective, but was also a huge economic boon for the economy. Spending on gay marriages added $1.6 billion to the national economy in the past year and more than $100 million in state and local sales tax revenues, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Economic impact of Gay Marriage
Source: UCLA School of Law

The UCLA report finds that 123,000 same-sex couples have been married since the Supreme Court ruling, spending an average of $11,000 per couple on their weddings.

Out-of-state guests spent an average of $116 per person to attend the weddings.

The percentage of gay couples who’ve tied the knot has more than tripled in the past three years, going from 8 percent in 2012 to 30 percent this year, according to a report from Prudential.

The way that gay couples celebrate their weddings has also changed. Last year, nearly eight in 10 same-sex couples celebrated their marriage with a ceremony, guests and reception. That’s up from just 43 percent of couples before 2013, according to a report by WeddingWire.

Perhaps LGBTQ couples are inviting more family members because family members have become more tolerant. In the past year, the share of families that are accepting of gay weddings has gone up, while the number of LGBTQ elopements declined, according to TheKnot.