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WP: Gay ‘Marriages’ Create Jobs In DC

From a joyous Washington Post:

Same sex couple Sinjoyla Townsend (L) and Angelisa Young, the first couple in line, celebrate after they applied for their marriage license at the DC Superior Court March 3 in Washington, DC.

Gay marriages expected to create wedding-related jobs in D.C.

By Ylan Q. Mui
Wednesday, March 10, 2010; A01

Georgetown residents Christopher Cahill and Richard Marshall consider the $75,000 wedding that they’re planning for June to be their own "personal stimulus package" for the District economy. And local businesses are already seeing the dollar signs.

They originally intended to have their wedding in Provincetown, Mass., in a state where same-sex marriages have been legal for nearly six years. But as District recognition crept closer to reality, they brought the party back home: They have contracted with nine local businesses to handle flowers and photography and party favors. About 130 guests are expected for their six-course dinner and reception at the downtown W Hotel. And Cahill said he expects their budget will only get bigger.

As the first same-sex couples married in Washington on Tuesday, the city is in the national spotlight as a pioneer in the gay-rights movement. But local officials say the historic event also has more practical implications for a city grappling with 12 percent unemployment: jobs. A study by the nonprofit Williams Institute predicted that legalizing same-sex marriage will create 700 jobs and contribute $52.2 million over three years to the local economy.

"We think it’s a great opportunity to capitalize on groups that will be coming to Washington," said Elliott Ferguson, chief executive of Destination D.C., the city’s tourism and marketing arm. "It’s the nation’s capital. It’s symbolic."

Businesses are already lining up to cater to what Forbes estimated is a $16.8 billion national market. A local restaurant answered the phone Tuesday with "Happy gay marriage day."

Organizers of the city’s first gay and lesbian wedding expo, planned for spring at the Renaissance Hotel in Dupont Circle, said hotels were jockeying to host the expo — a dramatic change from the days when hotels were reluctant to put signs with same-sex couples’ names in the lobby.

The Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown has sent out invitations for a celebratory cocktail party and is expecting 200 attendees along with tax attorneys, travel agents and other vendors who will mingle with the crowd. Other businesses are offering discounts as high as 50 percent to win over same-sex couples.

Mervis Diamond Importers launched a line of wedding rings targeted to gay couples just in time for the first "I dos." The 18-karat gold rings — thick bands without diamonds and made to match — run $1,000 to $3,000.

"We’re in the business of love," said Jonathan Mervis, the company’s digital strategist. "This is just an extension of what we’ve always been about." …lucrative market for gay weddings is tough to resist. The average heterosexual wedding cost $19,000 in 2009, according to the Wedding Report, a market research firm, though the average in the District was closer to $40,000. Marianne Puechl, co-founder of the Rainbow Wedding Network, said she generally estimates that gay marriages cost half of traditional ones because they tend to be smaller.

The Williams Institute study, issued last spring, predicted that nearly 2,000 District couples would marry if the option were available, generating about $18 million in new spending and $1 million in sales tax revenue over three years. The bigger windfall is expected to come from out-of-state couples — particularly from New York — seeking to get married in the nation’s capital. The report estimated 12,500 such couples would travel to the District in three years, boosting the economy by $34.3 million and contributing $3.8 million in taxes. A 2004 Congressional Budget Office report estimated that legalizing same-sex marriage across the country would generate about $1 billion annually in new federal revenue through taxes and other fees.

Local companies are clamoring to claim what they hope will become a new revenue stream…

This is even better than the ‘green economy’ – the ‘gay economy.’

By the way the Williams Institute is certainly an objective source for such estimates.

Here are some of their publications:

Publications – Williams Institute Op Eds

Prop 8 and Its Aftermath: The Silver Lining (American Constitution Society Blog, June 6 2009) – Lau

Are Utah and Arkansas the New Centers of the Gay Rights Movement? (Jurist Legal News and Research, December 3, 2008) – NeJaime

Scare Tactics: Children in the Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage in California (Jurist Legal News and Research, October 28, 2008) – NeJaime

The Summer of Love and Commitment (The Huffington Post, September 3, 2008) – Badgett

Labor Day Parades for Just Some of Us?: American Corporations and the Future of Same-Sex Marriage (The Huffington Post, September 1, 2008) – Gates

Making Same-Sex Marriages Count (Los Angeles Times, July 18, 2008) – Gates

Same-Sex Marriage/Same-Sex Family (Jurist, May 27, 2008) – NeJaime

What Voters "Don’t Ask" But Can "Tell" About Obama’s Race (Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 28, 2008) – Carbado

The California Marriage Case and the Mainstreaming of Gay Rights (Jurist, March 10, 2008) – NeJaime

I demand a recount (Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2007) – Gates

Exploring growth of Louisville’s gay population (The Courier-Journal, December 2, 2007) – Gates

Gay demographics could reshape electoral landscape (USA Today, November 15, 2007) – Gates

A Different View Of LGBT (PR Week, October 29, 2007) – Renna

Straight or Gay, Domestic Violence Affects Us All (South China Morning Post, May 17, 2007) – Lau

The Wedding Economy (New York Times, January 7, 2007) – Badgett

Gay rights could pay big dividends (New York Daily News, November 26, 2006) – Gates and Florida

The closet door’s open (Hartford Courant, November 5, 2006) – Gates and Badgett

The gay health insurance gap (Alternet, October 26, 2006) – Badgett

What’s good for same-sex couples is good for Colorado (Daily Camera, October 29, 2006) – Badgett

Gay Rights Makes Good Business Sense (txt newsmagazine, November 4, 2005) – Gates

Diff’rent Strokes (The Village Voice, June 16, 2005) – Sears

Two Cheers for Civil Unions – Hirsch

Silver Lining in the Golden State (Frontiers Magazine, March 31, 2005) – Kramer

Follow the Leaders (The New York Times, March 16, 2005) – Rubenstein

Play It Straight (The New York Times, October 16, 2004) – Rubenstein

Mayors, Judges, and the Constitution (LA Daily News, August 23, 2004) – Rowe

The Scarlet Letter (Bergen County Record, August 19, 2004 ) – Sears

Off the Court (Village Voice, July 15, 2004) – Hirsch

Tourism and Same-Sex Marriage (San Diego Union-Tribune, May 27, 2004) – Sears and Badgett

Republicans need to face gay issues (The Sun News, May 6, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

Let’s call GOP’s bluff on gays (Star Tribune, May 4, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

Same Sex, Different Treatment: A Sincere GOP would protect workers from discrimination By Brad Sears and Alan Hirsch (Kansas City Star, May 4, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

If Gays Are OK, Job Bias Can’t Be (Los Angeles Times, April 29, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

Domestic-partners bill won’t be burden to business: Editorial on a bill clarifying that existing laws require employers to provide health benefits to employees’ domestic partners is misleading and exaggerates the bill’s impact on California’s businesses [Rebuttal] (Orange County Register, April, 18, 2004) – Sears and Badgett

No harm done to children of gay marriages: U.S. studies consistently dispute claims of opponents (Edmonton Journal (Alberta), April 10, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

Heterosexuals not only people with good parenting skills (The Daily Review (Hayward, CA). April 8, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

Straight-Out Truth on Gay Parents: Children are not harmed when raised by same-sex couples, studies confirm (Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2004) – Sears and Hirsch

Hiding Behind the Constitution (New York Times, March 20, 2004) – Rubenstein

The Marriage Canard (Berkshire Eagle, March 5, 2004) – Hirsch

If Gay Marriage Is the Question, Civil Unions Aren’t the Answer: Separate Still Not Equal (Village Voice, February 11 – 17, 2004) – Hirsch

Same-Sex Marriage in the Court of Public Opinion: No Time To Celebrate (Village Voice – November 26 – December 2, 2003) – Sears and Hirsch

Toward More Perfect Unions (New York Times – Nov 20, 2003 Op-Ed) – Rubenstein and Sears

Just What Is Marriage Anyway? This correct decision is basically conservative — certainly not an instance of ‘judicial activism’ (Los Angeles Times – Nov 19, 2003 Commentary) – Hirsch

Recognizing California Couples: Domestic-Partner Law Attacked by Anti-Gay Senator Could Boost Flow Of Cash to State (Daily Journal: Forum Column, October 14, 2003) – Sears and Badgett

Marital Discord Gay-Rights Foe Bases Attack on Personal Beliefs, ‘Straw Man’ Strategy (Daily Journal – Sep 23, 2003 Forum Column) – Kwan

No bias there.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “WP: Gay ‘Marriages’ Create Jobs In DC”

  1. MinnesotaRush says:

    “As the first same-sex couples married in Washington on Tuesday, the city is in the national spotlight as a pioneer in the gay-rights movement. But local officials say the historic event ..”

    Now is that like the “historic event” that we had when we swore the current half black, spread the wealth around lunatic posing as a president?

    Seems as though that’s caused a lot of folks getting screwed, too.

  2. proreason says:

    Polygamy could rurn turn America’s economy, once again, into the world’s engine room.

  3. GetBackJack says:

    Not to mention increased sales of lube, frilly underthings, vests, sailor’s caps, chaps, size 13 red patent leather pumps and condoms.

    But enough about Barney Frank’s closet ….

  4. David says:

    So a $75K wedding in DC will be a stimulus for the economy? Right, because it is not like there is anything in DC that might bring in massive expensive parties and other similar events.

  5. philmarlowe says:

    A restaurant that greets callers with the message “Happy Gay Marriage Day” is a restaurant where I will not be dining. For a variety of reasons.

    Is there any possibility our world will someday be rescued from its current upside-down posture? What would it take?

  6. Mithrandir says:

    If you were blind and deaf, and no one told you if the president was a Republican or Democrat, you could figure it out by reading the tone of the media:

    Democrat: a crap economy is helping people be frugal, it is good for you! Are we just focusing too much attention on the national debt?–its not all that bad. Gay marriage is good, and saving the economy! There are no more homeless or poor people. There CERTAINLY aren’t any more anti-war marches, because there is no war when a Democrat is in office.

    Republican: Parade out any example, (or invent one) of some crisis that the masses are willing to commit revolution for. There are too many poor, hungry, staving children without health care in America. WAR WAR WAR. Will the misery ever end with this horrible Republican as President?

  7. Liberals Demise says:

    “Proctologist are giddy”

  8. JohnMG says:

    …..”It’s the nation’s capital. It’s symbolic……”

    I’ll say! These people don’t care who gets screwed………or where. Very emblematic.

  9. JohnMG says:

    NEWS FLASH!!!!

    Elliott Ferguson, chief executive of Destination D.C. invites you to convene in celebration on St. Patrick’s Day, 2010 as Michael Fitzhugh and Hugh Fitzmichael join in conjugal bliss.

  10. eMuse5 says:

    “Happy gay marriage day”?

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