Businesses in the U.S. have held a wedding expo on the weekend aimed at connecting same-sex couples with businesses that are willing to serve them.
Utah is one of 29 states where it is legal for businesses to refuse services to same-sex couples, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
A proposal to change that law died last week in the Utah’s Republican-controlled legislation.
About 40 LGBT-friendly businesses, including photographers, bartenders, bakers and wedding venue representatives were at the expo in Salt Lake City to let the region’s gay and lesbian community know that they’re open to gay weddings, said Michael Aaron, the show organizer to ABC News.
“It’s about supporting those who want to participate in your wedding and leaving the other ones alone,” Aaron said.
“If they don’t want to do it, they’re not going to do a great job for you anyway.”
“As of last fall, an estimated 486,000 same-sex couples were married — more than double the figure in 2013”
The Salt Lake City event will be the first of its kind since gay marriage became legal in Utah in 2013, Aaron said.
About 300 people attended the first one in 2012, he said.
The increasing number of wedding expos is reflective of the number of same-sex couples that are marrying with gay marriage legal across the country and of corporate America’s expanding embrace of the LGBT market, said Beck Bailey of the Human Rights Campaign.
The LGBT population has an estimated buying power of $884 billion annually, according to a report from Witeck Communications and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Same-sex weddings have been happening at a brisk pace over the last three years as judges declared gay marriage legal in a number of states, including Utah in December 2013, and finally the U.S. Surpreme Court in the summer of 2015.
As of last fall, an estimated 486,000 same-sex couples were married — more than double the figure in 2013, according to the Williams Institute, a LGBT-issues think tank based at UCLA’s School of Law. That figure represents 45 percent of all same-sex couples.
Though no hard figures exist yet for how big the wedding industry has become, the Wlliams Institute estimated in 2014 that making gay marriage legal across the country could generate a total of $2.6 billion across the country within the first three years.
Last Updated on Mar 7, 2016