In an interesting article in the San Francisco Chronicle (which I did a brief interview and quote for), another reason why the California Marriage Decision is good for the state was brought forward: money.
In the article, "State sees economic windfall in gay weddings", many are looking beyond just the issue of equality and at the impact it could have on the economy:
Beyond the hearts and flowers of the occasions are monetary realities that have everyone from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to tourism officials to bakers, jewelers and DJs anticipating a windfall. A multitude of weddings is likely to be good business at a time when many folks are in belt-tightening mode.
The article continues to talk about the booms expected in tourism and the wedding industry from out-of-state couples (like me and my partner). The upcoming amendment in November is also expected to move many couples from around the country to make this a new Summer of Love in California.
The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at UCLA School of Law estimates the possible windfall for California to be huge:
Total outlay for same-sex weddings by California residents and nonresidents
Spending by California couples on their weddings. Assumes 51,319 couples (half of existing committed same-sex couples) will choose to marry, and estimates they will spend $7,645 per wedding.
Spending on weddings and tourism by 67,513 out-of-state couples. Assumes each couple spends an average of $2,962 on the wedding and $1,351 on hotel and food.
License fees for 118,832 couples, assuming an average of $73.50 for fees.
Seeing the actual economic boom the wedding industry will cause in the state can only help our community's efforts to defeat the November amendment. When California residents see that not only did the sky not fall when marriage equality was allowed but the economy actually improved, perhaps they will be more willing to vote down the amendment.
On a personal note, I will say that I am more willing to spend and support a state that supports me. My partner and I are extremely excited to celebrate our commitment to one another in the Golden State.
This is one statistic I am happy and proud to be a part of.