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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Forbes: Quashing Same-Sex Marriage Cost State Billions, Earned Voters Dirty Looks From Caterers, Seamstresses

Posted By on Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge marriage_cake.jpg
If altruism weren't a good enough reason for California voters to enable same-sex marriage -- and, let's be realistic, altruism isn't a good enough reason for state voters to do anything -- a recent article by Forbes magazine predicts that legalizing same sex marriage nationwide would pump nearly $10 billion into the economy (we're assuming some of them would choose to have their weddings here in California. We're told this is a desirable place to be).

The magazine bases its billion-dollar gambit on research from The Williams Institute, a research arm of UCLA law school, which claimed that, if given the chance, roughly half of the nation's 781,267 co-habitating same-sex couples would marry within three years.

Considering the Wedding-Industrial-Complex is a $160 billion industry (though spiraling downward in these frugal times), the magazine figures that if half the same-sex partnerships tied the knot, you'd bless the economy by $9.5 billion -- even if same-sex couples only spent a third on weddings and all the delightful associated costs than their opposite-sex counterparts (which is often the case). Assuming you're not a California wedding planner or jeweler who just slapped himself on the forehead so hard reading has become problematic, click on the jump for a more detailed breakdown.

Here's that $9.5 billion, itemized: Gifts: $3.4 billion; reception and catering: $1.6 billion; honeymoons:

$694 million; photography and video: $554 million; Jewelery: $502

million; engagement rings; $444 million; Music and entertainment: $313

million; other events: $302 million; ceremonies: $281 million; wedding

planners: $268 million; clothes and accessories: $257 million; wedding

favors: $197 million; flowers and decor, $176 million; stationary: $154

million; etc.

In any event, you get the picture (and we didn't even mention the $65 million that would have been spent on wedding cake).

As Sacramento politicians consider some truly onerous cost-saving measures -- some of which, such as closing down state parks, may actually lose the state money -- it's beguiling to know that if Californians voted with more compassion, we would have been rewarded with a potent revenue source. In the meantime, we can still alleviate our woes by stuffing our faces with high-quality cake -- apparently lots of it isn't getting sold.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more

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