The latest United States Census showed that there were nearly 4,000 gay couples living in Louisiana. It is estimated that half of those couples will get married within the next three years. Based upon a ruling last week by the United States Supreme Court, same sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states.  This ruling could show a rather sizable economic impact in our state.

The UCLA Williams Institute did a study of same sex marriages and concluded that the economic impact to the state of Louisiana could be about $28 million dollars. That impact is based on estimates using traditional weddings as base. Lee Badgett who authored study explains where the dollars will come from.

So that includes the people who are going to come from out of state, and maybe staying in hotels and spending money while they're waiting for the wedding to happen. Cakes, and caterers and florists.

Badgett, in speaking to the Louisiana Radio Network, said there should also be an increase in wedding related jobs. There will also be more people spending money in restaurants and hotels as they travel from out of town to be a part of these weddings.If you look at the issue from a purely economic standpoint, Badgett says same sex marriages are good for Louisiana.

In this particular case really everybody wins. The businesses win, the government wins, and the same sex couples are very happy to have the right to get married and to have that right in front of their friends and family.

Governor Jindal stated yesterday that the state would in fact comply with the Supreme Court's ruling and allow same sex marriage in the state. When the first licenses will be issued has yet to be determined.