Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry would boost Texas' economy, a new study has found.

In February, a federal judge struck down Texas' ban on gay marriage.

U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia said that the state's marriage laws demean the dignity of gay and lesbian couples for “no legitimate reason.” The state appealed the ruling.

According to a study conducted by the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA Law, extending marriage to gay couples would generate up to $182 million in spending to Texas' economy in the first three years after the ban is lifted.

“Allowing gay couples to marry here would give an economic boost to caterers, florists, event venues, and others who make a living through wedding planning,” Equality Texas Executive Director Chuck Smith said in a statement.

Researchers looked at 2010 U.S. Census data to estimate that half of gay couples living in Texas (23,200) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in several states.

“This study confirms that all Texans benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said study co-author M.V. Lee Badgett.

(The complete report is available here.)