Monday, June 16, 2008

Gay Marriage in California

Today is the day that gay marriage becomes legal in this state, hard to say just how happy I am to hear it. I'm not gay and have been married for 17 years to the Amazing Darcy (who is the toughest person on earth at the moment). I don't even know any gays personally that want to marry. But it's a matter of fairness and being against discrimination and hate. It's an insult to what America is supposed to be to have certain types of people singled out as second class citizens with less rights than the rest of us.

The Guardian has an interesting article on all this:

But starting this afternoon, many of those same couples and thousands more are expected to take advantage of the court's latest ruling permitting same-sex marriage to become "spouses for life".

At 5.01pm today, barring further legal challenges, the court's ruling is due to come into force. Several counties and cities planned to keep their clerk's offices open late today to officiate the first ceremonies.

Justice has prevailed, even if just a little. What California is going to do that Massachusetts didn't is to marry anyone without the need of a residence requirement, which means they expect gays from all over America to come here to get hitched.

The numbers are impressive. In a report issued this month, the University of Southern California's Williams Institute estimated that extending marriage to gays and lesbians would boost state revenues by more than $63m.

The study anticipates that about half of the state's 102,000 registered same-sex couples will marry in California in the next three years; it also predicts that more than 60,000 same-sex couples will come from other states to marry.

They will spend some $683m, helping to create more than 2,000 jobs and generating $55m in state and local taxes. Marriage licence fees alone will bring in $8.8m.

Accordingly, hoteliers, wedding planners, florists and jewellers are preparing for what they hope will be a rush of couples, leading some to dub the coming months the "new summer of love".

California's state tourism commission lists hotels and estates from the vineyards of the Napa Valley in northern California to the scorched desert of Palm Springs offering gay marriage packages.

A Travel Industry Association survey found that four of the top 15 travel destinations in the US for gay couples are in California. The fabled pink dollar – gay men spend an average $800 per trip, compared to single straight men's $540 – means that businesses are looking forward to an influx of "dinks" (double income, no kids).

Hallelujah, Brothers and Sisters!! What good right winger wouldn't happily drop any inconvenient standards in order to make a few million, so resistence will fade quickly.

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