Same-sex couples barred from marriage are also blocked — or at least discouraged — from spending all the money that weddings demand. They don’t spend on marriage licenses, catering, reception venues, flower bouquets, or hotel blocks for their out-of-town guests. And the money they don’t spend on all these things doesn’t generate tax revenue either.
For this reason, states that have legalized same-sex marriage have made a lot of money off of that civil-rights progress. An early estimate of the economic impact of same-sex marriage in California calculated that some 50,000 in-state gay couples stood to spend nearly $400 million over the first three years of legalization — yielding $31 million in local tax revenue.
Multiply that effect nationwide, and the economic impact of gay marriage for local businesses and tax coffers approaches billions of dollars.