Marriage Equality Could Mean Big, Gay Economic Boom

San Francisco: Legalizing marriage could boost economy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Leanne Waldal
    Flowers, dresses, reservations, wine -- marriage is big business, especially in San Francisco, so striking down Proposition 8 could lead to a wedding bonanza.

    On average, San Franciscans pay far more to get married than anyone else in the country -- $45,284 -- on everything from clothing to food to flowers.

    Which lends credence to testimony in the ongoing trial over the constitutionality of Proposition 8 provided by Edmund Egan, head of San Francisco's Office of Economic Policy.

    Egan argued on the stand that not only would the city save on health and welfare, citing statistics on the relative economic security of married couples, but the wedding business, too.

    Pointing out that that a flurry of same-sex marriages would mean a boom in economic activity, Egan estimated an up to $2.8 million annual increase in sales and hotel taxes, based on estimates Egan derived from the city's all-to-brief season of love when City Hall granted equal status as citizens to same-sex couples.

    While Egan's numbers were questioned by lawyers for the defense, it's indisputable that Proposition 8 question has certainly generated plenty of business for said lawyers.

    Besides the counsel on the case, a law firm in Ohio earned some billable hours by issuing a cease and desist letter to Courage Campaign's Prop 8 Trial Tracker Web site.

    The organization behind the Protect Marriage Web site objects to a parody of their logo, which features a loving family of stick figures with not one, but two moms! (Or, possibly, two fathers who happen to be wearing dresses.)

    The Prop 8 Trial Tracker has refused to back down and change the logo, and if it does end up in court, there's yet more money for area lawyers.

    While it has been argued that the poor state of the economy might spell doom for marriage equality efforts across the country, maybe it's a chicken and egg problem -- give the gays the marriage, and we could all be rich people!

    Photo by Leanne Waldal.

    Jackson West wonders if Marissa Mayer's recent marriage didn't skew that average wedding expense number something fierce.