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Analysis: Missouri Could Gain $38 Million From Same-Sex Marriages

Kurt Nordstrom via Flickr

The average cost of a wedding in Missouri is $22,343. Same-sex marriage is, at least for now, legal in Missouri. So what does that mean, economically?

Last week, a federal judge in Kansas City and a circuit court judge in St. Louis struck down Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage. 

"As it stands right now, marriage between same-sex couples is legal in Missouri," A.J. Bockelman, executive director of Promo told "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh on Monday. Promo is a statewide gay rights advocacy organization.

The rulings are not without confusion, though. The federal judge who struck down Missouri's ban also stayed his ruling pending an appeal from Attorney General Chris Koster. An appeal has not yet been filed.

If an appeal is not filed and same-sex marriage is legal throughout Missouri, personal finance site NerdWallet crunched the numbers and determined the state could add more than $38 million to its economy annually.

Illinois stands to gain more than $101 million annually. California, the state with the largest population, could bring in the most, about $414 million annually. If same-sex marriage were legal in the United States, NerdWallet estimates consumer spending on same-sex weddings would exceed $2.5 billion annually.

In its analysis, NerdWallet examined consumer spending on weddings, the number of people who self-identified as gay and lesbian in each state (3.3 percent in Missouri) and overall marriage rates. Sreekar Jasthi of NerdWallet also said the analysis took into account initial booms as same-sex marriage becomes legal and many marriages were performed at courthouses, as well as long-term demand. Learn more about NerdWallet's methodology.

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