Gay Marriage Could Be Worth Billions For California


         

           $2.5 BILLION

Weddings are big business. Gay Weddings and Travel is even BIGGER BUSINESS!

Thanks to a recent decision by the California Supreme Court, the Golden State may soon be seeing a flood of same-sex couples flocking to the state to get married, beginning June 17.

Prof. Lee Badgett, Research Director at the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, has done a series of studies on the economic implications of gay marriage in New Jersey, Vermont, Massachusetts, and California, among others.


While the 2000 Census estimated roughly 500,000 co-habitating gay couples nationwide, more recent studies such as the American Community Survey now estimate close to 800,000 same-sex couples. Of these, about 15%–or about 110,000–live in California. Less than 3% live in Massachusetts.


Badgett believes each California GLBT couple will likely spend close to the average wedding cost–now approaching $35,000 in California–but only about one-quarter of that amount is presumed to be “additional” spending that would not have otherwise gone into the economy. Even by this measure, 50,000 gay weddings could generate about $437.5 million in new economic activity over the next 3 years.


And none of these figures even address the potential boost to GLBT tourism. After all, about half of gays and lesbians say that a destination’s perceived ‘gay-friendliness’ is important in choosing how to spend their travel dollars, estimated at well over $50 billion annually.


When asked about the gay marriage, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “You know, I’m wishing everyone good luck with their marriages and I hope that California’s economy is booming because everyone is going to come here and get married.”


Schwarzenegger’s hopes might just be realized.


By New Media Manager Matthew Calcara for PeterGreenberg.com

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