I've got a simple, cost-free proposal for stimulating the economy: legalize gay marriage.
Forget your politics. Shelve your bigotry. Just listen to the numbers....
The average American wedding costs $20,000. The number of gay couples living together without the benefit of marriage is estimated at 3 million. Using those numbers, same-sex marriages could pump an estimated additional $60 billion in revenue into our ailing economy. That doesn't even include money from the pre-wedding parties, honeymoons, or wedding registries. (Pottery Barn is going to love this post...) I suspect that gay marriage would be celebrated with the same outrageous excess as heterosexual unions. Not that everyone can afford a wedding like Ellen Degeneres and Portia DeRossi's elaborate celebration...but even some vows at city hall followed by a nice dinner with friends would help more than a $300 tax rebate. In fact, that $60 billion in revenue is all taxable!
Think about the number of jobs that would be created. The Association of Bridal Consultants say that on average 43 professionals are needed to service the average American wedding: florists, caterers, reception planners, photographers, travel agents, hotels, airlines, jewelers and bakeries just to name a few who would directly benefit from this huge infusion of cash....not to mention the divorce attorneys.
Picking and choosing what kind of love is worth recognizing is an expensive choice. Is discrimination worth that price?
It seems to me, the ailing economy might just be gay marriage proponent's new bff.
(Written with James C. Elbaor)