Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Gay Marriage May be Economic Boon to California

Even though unfortunately the anti-gay constitutional amendment has apparently received enough signatures to be placed on the California ballot in Novemeber and, if passed by voters, potentially overturn the historic May 15, 2008 ruling of the Californai Supreme Court, as this Los Angeles Times article indicates, gay marriage could bring lots of financial benefit to the state. One can only hope that many Californians will vote against the proposed amendment not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because it is the smart thing to economically. Here are highlights from the LA Times:
Forget economic stimulus checks. Same-sex marriages may give California just the financial boost it needs.Wedding planners, bakers and hotels began booking more business almost immediately after the state Supreme Court's May 15 decision overturning a ban on gay marriage. Citing pent-up demand, one UCLA study projects that same-sex unions could provide a $370-million shot in the arm to the state economy over the next three years.
PlanetOut, a media and entertainment company that conducts surveys about gay and lesbian consumers, says gay consumers earn 20% more than their straight counterparts, on average, and spend about 10% more on nuptials.The court ruling comes at a good time for many small wedding-related businesses, which are finding that their traditional customers are spending less on weddings because of the economy."Brides are being more frugal with things they don't see as a priority," said Richard Markel, president and director of the Assn. for Wedding Professionals International.
.V. Lee Badgett, research director at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the UCLA School of Law, estimates that gay weddings could provide a $370-million boost to the state economy.That estimate presumes that about half of California's 92,000 same-sex couples will tie the knot, multiplied by $8,040, the amount of money from savings accounts that Badgett figures same-sex couples will use on their weddings.Event planners, restaurants, tent and chair rental companies, florists, caterers and hotels should all get a piece of that pie, she said.

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