Monday, June 02, 2008

Now gay marriage has the wedding industry on its side

Don't underestimate the power of having moneyed interests at your back. If the California anti-gay marriage amendment makes it onto the November ballot, you can bet the wedding industry will be fighting tooth-and-nail against it. They're getting a big boom in business, and I doubt they'll want to kiss all that money goodbye:
By some estimates, weddings and commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples generate $1 billion a year in revenue.

PlanetOut, a media and entertainment company that conducts surveys about gay and lesbian consumers, says gay consumers earn 20% more than their straight counterparts, on average, and spend about 10% more on nuptials.
It is likely to be a close fight, and having the wedding industry on our side could be what tips the balance. Of course, there's no reason gay couples couldn't spend lots of money on commitment ceremonies that don't have a legal marriage to go with them. But having it be fully legal (at least in California) does seem to encourage people to have a more lavish ceremony.

It's sad that in our political system, such financial considerations matter. But they do. And the wedding industry is crazy, getting people to spend far more than they need to in order to have a celebration. But this is an area where I think the wedding industry is on the right side of things. And if they can use their marketing savvy and dream-selling wiles to help the cause of marriage equality, I'm willing to forgive them their encouragement of over-consumption. Spending ridiculous amounts of money on temporary floral arrangements is a foolishness that should not be restricted to heterosexuals.


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