During the years leading up to same-sex marriage being legalized nationwide in 2015, LGBTQ activists often extolled the financial upside marriage equality would bring to the economy.
According to researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, those predictions of economic boost turned out to be accurate.
Since the ground-breaking 2015 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, almost 300,000 gay and lesbian couples have exchanged wedding vows.
The study’s lead author, Christy Mallory, told Reuters that, in addition to changing the lives of same-sex couples and their families, marriage equality has “has also provided a sizable benefit to business and state and local governments.”
Using figures and estimates based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the researchers found $3.2 billion has been spent on same-sex weddings in the U.S.
Additionally, wedding guests who traveled to take part in the nuptials doled out $544 million in travel expenses. And state and local governments took in an additional $244 million in taxes related to the events.
The data also shows same-sex weddings have helped to support nearly 45,000 jobs.
Beginning with Massachusetts in 2003, marriage equality slowly became legal state-by-state. From 2003 to 2015, it’s estimated that 242,000 same-sex weddings were held in the U.S.
Today, more than half a million lesbian and gay couples have tied the knot.