The Gay Bailout

10/09/2008 11:13 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

U.S. brokerages and banks are collapsing; panic is bubbling. Experts bemoan the lack of liquidity in our financial system, worsening by the day as consumers tighten the grip on their wallets. What fix is guaranteed to help? There's an easy answer close at hand: Encourage more same-sex marriages!

Cash-strapped California, which legalized marriage equality in June, is already reaping a multimillion dollar windfall. Within three years, one UCLA Law School study predicts, we will see direct spending of more than $370 million on same-sex weddings. Another study forecasts $683.6 million to be spent by local and out-of-state couples. While fears of depression grip California's tourist sector, the one bright spot is related to--you guessed it--same-sex weddings.

I'm doing my part. Carole and I will marry on November 1, our 27th anniversary. I estimate we will inject more than $20,000 into both the state and national economies: locally, we'll foot the bill for an extravagant wedding cake (with yes, two bride toppers), caterer, music, flowers, stunning gold wedding bands, plus hotel for our son and grandkids. Other relatives and East Coast friends (and one from Australia) will spend nearly $10,000 on plane tickets, then pull out the plastic for car rentals, hotels, taxis, and food once they get here.

Many same-sex couples are making similar decisions about how to spend their money. When our lesbian neighbors down the block married last month, instead of going on an international vacation this year, they chose to (expensively) landscape their yard for the wedding party.

Half of all same-sex couples living in California are expected to marry within three years. We have enormous pent-up demand, most of us are two-earner couples, and we're willing to pull out stashed-away money for this historic occasion.

If your state has fallen into recession--and whose hasn't?--there is one obvious way to pull in revenue. If you're worried about your 401K and wondering how to prop up consumer spending, be patriotic: change your laws and beg us to immigrate to your state. Forget stimulus checks: they're too paltry to make much of a difference. Just let same-sex couples marry--your homegrown ones and those from other states--and you'll be floating in cash.

So let the wedding bells ring! Allow love to show its radiant face, shining all over your state.

Don't you wish Carole and I were plunking down $20,000 in your town?