The California state Office of Vital Records just announced that gay couples will be able to legally marry in the state starting June 17. The marriages, unless some legal impediment arises, will be valid until November, when a state-wide ballot gives Californians the opportunity to ban gay marriage. However, a poll released today showed that 51 percent of Californians approved of gay marriage, while only 41 percent disapproved. The remaining 7 percent had "no opinion."
If gay marriage stays legal in California, it may be a boon for everyone, not just the couples getting married. Gov. Schwarzenegger has already said that gay couples traveling to California to get married could provide a nice economic boost. California has the highest number of same-sex couples in the nation. If only a quarter of the 184,500 cohabiting, same-sex couples got married, it would mean 46,125 weddings. Multiply that by $27,852, the average cost of a wedding according to study by Conde Nast Bridal Group, and it would mean more than $1 billion for the state economy.
If you wanted to take things further, you could calculate in money saved by shared health care coverage, being bumped up a tax bracket on joint returns, and other similar measures, which could add up to more than $3 billion.
Gay marriage: good for the economy, bad for bigots.