Here’s a timely report from June 2008:
Gay couples are projected to spend $684 million on flowers, cakes, hotels, photographers and other wedding services over the next three years – so long as voters don’t put a halt to the same-sex marriage spree, according to a study by the Williams Institute at University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
During the three-year period, the researchers project that about half of the state’s more than 100,000 same-sex couples will get married and another 68,000 out-of-state couples will travel to California to exchange vows. The nuptial rush is expected to create some 2,200 jobs.
The study estimates that over the next three years, gay weddings will generate $64 million in additional tax revenue for the state, and another $9 million in marriage-license fees for counties.
That’s not the way it turned out, of course. California voters passed Proposition 8 in November 2008, rescinding the rights of gays to marry.
Prop 8 is a stain on California’s civil rights record. The fact that 52 percent of voters elected to strip a civil right from a minority of their fellow Californians is part of the state’s history now, alongside covenant restrictions, driving-while-black arrests and Proposition 187.
Another downside is the loss of revenue — $684 million in small-business revenues and $73 million in state and local taxes and fees — $757 million since 2008.
If the 2008 projections were to remain constant, over the next decade, Prop 8 would cost California $2.5 billion in lost opportunities for revenue.