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Gay weddings could pump $117M into Florida this year

The Williams Institute is predicting a $182 million boost to Florida's economy from gay marriage.

Gay marriages in Florida began Monday, and it could provide a boost to Orlando’s tourism industry.

The Williams Institute, a research institute focused on sexual orientation and public policy, is predicting more than 24,000 Florida couples will get married in the next three years. That’s would pump $182 million into the economy, including $117 million in the first year.

Economist Hank Fishkind said legalizing gay marriage will have a local impact too.

“Central Florida has done a good job of being open to people of all types of persuasions," Fishkind said. "The theme parks have finally come around to doing that over the last decade. And Florida is very supportive of that, Central Florida is very supportive of that. So yes, I do think we’ll some incremental increase in destination weddings.”

Spending by gay and lesbian tourists nationwide topped $100 billion in 2012, and Orlando is the No. 9 destination for gay travel in the U.S. Visit Orlando hasn’t decided if it will market Orlando as a gay destination wedding location, but started actively marketing to gay tourists in 2013.