Why We Can’t Afford to Ban Same-Sex Marriage
By Simma Lieberman
A Date To Remember
On November 4, Californians will vote on whether or not to ban same sex marriage, which has been legal for the last six months. It is now legal in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
A Union of Economic Interests
While the US and the rest of the world are in the midst of an economic crisis, out-of-state special interest groups are pouring millions of dollars into California and flying people in to help pass Proposition 8, which would outlaw same-sex marriage. People are losing their retirement funds, worried about how they will afford health care and whether or not they will have a job when they wake up in the morning certain groups are more concerned with same-sex marriage in California. I must be missing something here. It seems to me that instead of sending money here to push their agenda, and interfering with our economy, they could use all of that “extra” money and help people in their own states who can no longer afford groceries, college, or health care.
Nuptials Nourish State’s Coffers
Many businesses in California know what these out-of-state people may not yet know: same-sex marriage is good for business, and will bring extra revenue to California, as it has in Massachusetts. These are tough economic times for many people. Generally in this kind of economy people cut back on vacations, eating in restaurants and what they consider non-essentials like family photos, and flowers. But legalizing same-sex marriage can help replace some of that lost revenue and even increase profit for some of these businesses.
A Belief in MatriMoney
According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, at least $370 million per year will be added to the state economy. Business Pundit stated that if same-sex marriage were legal at the federal level there would be a benefit of nearly 1 billion dollars a year. CBS news wrote on their site that there are approximately 100, 000 same-sex couples in the US and that one half will marry, along with 68,000 people from out-of-state. It is estimated that 2200 new jobs in California will be created as a result of legalized same-sex marriage. LGBT people understand the power of the purse because they are excluding states where same-sex marriage is banned, saying they don’t want to give money to a state that discriminates against them. Instead they will spend their money in states that offer domestic partnerships or marriage for same sex couples.
Tying Knots Unties Pursestrings Wedding Cake Nourishes Everyone
The Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants are not only one of the top hotels for LGBT guests; it is also one of the top employers for LGBT employees. They have already provided domestic partner benefits for their employees.
Alan Baer, Senior Vice President for the Kimpton Hotel Chain spoke with me about the ways in which Kimpton has fostered an inclusive workplace where everyone is able to contribute and be part of the team. “Same-sex marriage will bring in more business. We have great wedding packages and there has been an increase in sales to same-sex couples. When they have their wedding celebration in one of our hotels, it usually means that more rooms will be filled with wedding guests.” He also predicts that if the ballot measure to forbid same-sex marriage fails, and same-sex marriage continues, there will be a big increase in weddings and receptions which can only be good for the hotel industry, our city and our State.”
The Hyatt Hotel Chain is another organization that has domestic partner benefits, and provides training for employees to ensure that LGBT guests feel welcomed. They even educate their employees when there are specific LGBT events. The Hyatt and Kimpton chains along with other hotels, vacation destinations, and cruise lines will reap the economic benefits of same-sex marriage. Their reputations in California will continue to grow amongst LGBT people, family members and friends. Those people will spread the word and when they travel out or state, they will stay at other properties with the same ownership. Some of the other businesses that can benefit from legalized same-sex marriages include; photographers, limo drivers, tuxedo rentals, jewelers, caterers and florists. And city, state, and county governments will also benefit. Think of all the marriage licenses, and taxes that come with these added nuptials.
Macy’s had a full-page ad of support when the California Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. Retailers like Macy’s will also benefit from the increased sales of wedding apparel and wedding gifts as more happy couples let their friends and families know they have registered at Macy’s.
Love and Marriage Go Together.
While people are out there campaigning against same-sex marriage, the state of California is experiencing our own financial crisis, people are losing their jobs, services are getting cut, and people are having trouble paying their mortgage. If same-sex marriage is good for business and good for our state, how can we afford to ban it?