STUDY: Same-Sex Marriage Would Boost Florida's Economy

By Jorge Rodriguez-Jimenez

Originally published on Advocate.com August 20 2014 1:44 PM ET

Florida’s economy stands to gain a lot from legalizing same-sex marriage, according to a new study from The Williams Institute at the University of California Los Angeles's School of Law.

The study estimates that 24,248 same-sex couples would marry within the first three years of marriage equality. Costs for vendors, venues, and businesses involved in those weddings would pump $182.2 million into the state and local economy, bringing $12,064, 815 in total tax revenue from in-state couples and out-of-state guests.

“If Florida grants same-sex couples the right to marry, we predict that the state will see a surge in spending on weddings by same-sex resident couples and their out-of-state guests,” reads the study.

Those out-of-state guests are particularly likely to provide a boon to the economy, as they and their wedding guests book hotels, restaurant reservations, and leisure activities, notes the study. 

“Based on these studies by the Williams Institute, 387,968 out-of-state guests will spend an estimated $42.3 million attending weddings of same-sex couples in Florida during the first three years after legalization,” reads the study.

The extra spending on leisure and recreation would also be a major job creator for Florida. The Williams Institute found that every $69,390 spent on leisure and recreation would produce one new job. 

“We estimate that wedding spending generated by marriages of same-sex couples would create 875 to 2,626 full- and part-time jobs in the first three years," the study reports

Same-sex couples spend less on weddings in Florida than heterosexual couples, according to the study. Same-sex couples spend an average of $5,772 on their nuptials, while heterosexual couples spend an average of $23,087.

All told, same-sex weddings could generate $140 million in wedding-related spending. By comparison, the study notes that last year, Florida generated $76.1 billion in leisure and recreation, which sustained 1,096,700 jobs in the state.