The Same-Sex Marriage Stimulus Plan

I am not going to wade into the legal and social arguments about same-sex marriage. The courts now have the case and it will probably work it's way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the justices will make a final decision about one of the most compassionately argued issues of this generation. But, I am going to tell you that there is an aspect of this issue we are ignoring. It's about the money. Thousands of people getting married in California cities could really help our economy.

Just after San Francisco first legalized gay marriage and before Proposition 8, I was asked to attend a same-sex marriage. I flew to San Francisco and checked into one of the boutique hotels on Union Square. I had dinner that Friday night and went out to purchase a wedding gift. The next morning I took a cab to the harbor area and found the 53 foot boat that was the site of this wedding.

It was a beautiful day as we motored into San Francisco Bay under the Bay Bridge and past Alcatraz. The ceremony was really nice with the city skyline as a backdrop. Then, we all went below deck for drinks and a catered dinner on board.

I struck up a conversation with the man behind the bar. He was also a partner in the company who operated the boat. He told me the same-sex marriage business, at that time, was booming. He was so grateful because the economy was already beginning to weaken and the new wedding business was bringing in thousands of new dollars. He also told me that everyone in San Francisco's hospitality business was celebrating because the money was flowing. I started thinking about what I had spent and it was a lot. Multiply that by the thousands of other couples with guests who took advantage of California's laws to get married and we are talking, possibly, millions of dollars pumped into the state's economy. That's something we could use now.

Money is not a reason to approve same-sex marriage. It is and should be about the law and the Constitution. But, if the U.S. Supreme Court eventually validates gay marriage, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Napa Valley and many other places will realize a local economic stimulus plan. No matter what side of the issue you are on, that is positive for all Californians.

Categories: Becker’s Digital Notebook