The Williams Institute, an organization that studies sexual orientation law and public policy, has estimated the economic impact of marriage equality in New York in a new study. The study estimates that in the first year of New York marriage equality, $155 million will be spent in the state, a combination of the revenue from actual wedding expenditures ($101 million) and marriage-related in-state tourism ($54 million). Check out the entire study here (PDF).
The organization made its estimations using data from the 2010 U.S. Census, the numbers from which The Williams Institute has been crunching to determine the number of same-sex couples in the United States, and the previous experiences of marriage equality in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, and Massachusetts. The total wedding expenditures in the first year of marriage equality in those states ranged from $5 million in New Hampshire and Vermont to $60 million in Massachusetts.
The organization's methodology about their conservative estimates suggests some reasons that same-sex couples may not carry identical economic weight as opposite-sex couples:
As a general matter, we are conservative in our estimates of same-sex couple's spending. For example, we assume that resident same-sex couples will spend on average only a quarter on weddings as different-sex couples. This conservative estimate also reflects our assumption that some couples may have already had a civil union or other commitment ceremony, that same-sex couples may be less able to rely on the resources of their parents and family for wedding expenditures, and that some of this spending will be diverted spending. Finally, for non-resident couples, we assume that total expenditures are at tenth that of different-sex couples, or 40% of resident couples, to account for the fact that non-resident couples may split their expenditures between the wedding-jurisdiction and their home state
Despite this, it's clear that marriage equality carries serious economic significance.