Waymon Hudson

Marriage Equality means Big Money for California

Filed By Waymon Hudson | June 05, 2008 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics, The Movement
Tags: California, economic policy, Marriage Decision, marriage equality, tourism, wedding

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:

$692 million
Total outlay for same-sex weddings by California residents and nonresidents

$392 million
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.

$291 million
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.

$9 million
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.


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It is exciting to see more businesses interested in marketing to the LGBT community due to the recent events here in California. We have been receiving many requests for mainstream imagery of gays and lesbians from new clients - small and large businesses that normally don't advertise to this market!

every now and then the money flows in the right direction. Cool.

This was my whole point with the article about LGBTQ spending habits.

Oh yeah . . . Waymon, what are your colors going to be? I need to pick out my dress.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 5, 2008 9:27 PM

I have to ask this because I think it needs to be asked. Waymon I am very happy for you and Anthony, but does increased commercialism equal greater liberation? I presume you are not having a lavish event, but rather a formal ceremony during a time in which you were already going to be in California. It is the special, unique and personal commitment you have to one another that is the liberation.

What is the date of your special day?

You're becoming as big a media whore as I am, Waymon. *grins* You're popping up in newspapers across the country this week. It must be hell to be so popular! :)

It is the special, unique and personal commitment you have to one another that is the liberation.

You said perfectly, Robert. We are not having a lavish event at all. Just a ceremony at city hall (it's all very "Sex and the City" movie of us...). The date is June 27th.