Gay marriage will inject at least $161 million dollars over three years into the Australian economy, reveals a US economist.
American economics professor, Lee Badgett, is in Australia to discuss her research into the social and economic impacts of marriage equality in Europe and North America.
She claims the 'wedding-spend' of same-sex couples would be a 'substantial' boost to the country's economy.
She said: 'Our estimate is on the conservative side because it is based on the lowest estimate of the number of Australian same-sex couples and how much they might spend.
'But even as a low-end figure $161 million dollars is a substantial economic injection into the kinds of small businesses typically associated with weddings.'
Prof Badgett's research has also found that marriage equality has social benefits.
'Our research has shown that allowing same-sex couples to marry fosters greater commitment between same-sex partners, acceptance within their families and security and stability for their children,' she explained.
'My message to Australian policymakers is that allowing same-sex couples to marry has had beneficial impact overseas by strengthening relationships, bringing families closer together and providing the broader community with an economic dividend.
'I also want to stress that the fearful predictions of some opponents of equality have not been borne out by the overseas experience.'
Prof Badgett released her economic impact statement at a special reception in her honor at Parliament House in Canberra this afternoon.
She will also speak at forums in Canberra and Sydney later in the week.