How Gay Marriage Will Boost Economy It's matrimony's version of a financial stimulus program. The moment Jose Matos proposed to Juan Estrada after New York state approved same-sex marriage, the pair joined thousands of gay couples expected to boost an economy that has been on the rocks. Caterer? Check. Flowers? Check. Engraved invitations? Yup.

"I'm talking to the chef today," Estrada told DailyFinance. "Jose is taking care of the legal. I'm taking care of the creative."

Estrada, a 35-year-old Pilates instructor, and Matos, a 34-year-old social worker (pictured), are hoping to finalize plans for an August ceremony and reception in New York City. They have a budget of $20,000, not including rings from Tiffany (TIF).

Gay and lesbian marriage, approved June 24 and valid starting July 24, will allow New York to say "I do" to an additional $391 million in commerce, a Democratic state senate report concluded.

A ripple effect could create a happily-ever-after of sorts for the country, two studies indicated. If the rest of the states were to join the six (plus Washington, D.C.) now permitting same-sex nuptials, it would generate an extra $1.3 billion over the next three years while creating an additional 4,000 jobs, according to the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA School of Law. A 2004 congressional paper projected that additional revenues of up to $1 billion a year would flow into federal coffers.

Added Business Is More Than Icing on the Cake


"As far as the future for the next states that extend marriage to same-sex couples, it's really a case of 'to the victor goes the spoils,' " said the Williams Institute's executive director, Brad Sears. "New York will benefit not only by having its resident same-sex couples marry, but, as a popular tourist destination, from same-sex couples traveling there from throughout the United States."

One caterer in the city's gay-concentrated West Village is already feeling the rush. Creative Edge Parties' wedding business jumped 50%, spokeswoman Maria Kourepenos said. At a minimum of $300 a guest, that's a lot more than icing on the cake.

"The floodgates have opened," said Angie Nevarez, Creative Edge's wedding director. "It's amazing. We've done so many [same-sex] weddings but not technically legal weddings. Now we're so happy to come out of the closet with them."

Many businesses expected significant long-term gains, but were not sure how quickly they'd be able to quantify the effect. Jack Follmer, co-owner of Very Special Flowers, said it would take at least 30 days before he could gauge the increase. And because some of his transactions involve couples buying bouquets on the run to City Hall, he'll still have a tough time keeping track.

Kate Park, the manager of West Village Florists, said the store anticipated a 30% uptick eventually. Jimmy Vali, whose band plays weddings for a minimum of $11,000, sang a more conservative tune. "I would tend to say a 5% increase right now because of the lack of knowledge and newness of it all," he said. "But we welcome the new business."

One catering hall, the Altman Building in Chelsea, another Manhattan neighborhood with a high percentage of gay residents, said it was already reworking some of its advertising. Amanda Jassin, the director of sales, said the Altman would "adjust" some of the promotional photos "so it's not about the bride and groom but just the experience." Bookings for the Altman begin at $5,500.

Estrada and Matos are in no hurry -- at least for the reception. They'd like to marry in a civil ceremony as fast they can and are open to throwing the big party later, Estrada said. They know a private chef who will give them a deal on the food -- fusion appetizers to reflect Estrada's Mexican heritage and Matos' Puerto Rican and Japanese roots. Estrada figures securing a bargain on the flowers won't be a problem either, but one florist contacted by DailyFinance said her wedding arrangements "are typically $10,000 to $25,000." As for the venue, the pair are thinking about renting a room at a restaurant with a bar and DJ.

From the economic standpoint alone, the groom-to-be wondered why same-sex marriage took so long. Said Estrada: "We want to do the whole nine yards."



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126 Comments

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hankbask

Imagine now the lengthy wait at the court house...not for marriages but for divorces. The divorce lawyers have not increased their clientele base by 25 %. Shouldn't that make their hourly fees more affordable? And let's imagine that June wedding bookings will be so sold out, that September will be the next month where wedding events will explode.
This is about more than increased revenue, this is now PLan on Waiting your Turn to get married program because there are so many more people ahead of you in the queue.

July 06 2011 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dwight

Gay Marriage is a joke.. It is just a effort by another special interest group to suck more services out of the government.. I have no problem with same sex co-habitation.. Marriage itself by definition is a faith based belief to establish a family core for biological procreation..Since this is not possible through gay interaction any children brought into this environment are in essence being recruited to expand and lifestye choice.. This should not be endorsed or finanically supported by any government.. The relation ship in itself if it is felt binding can and should be handle thru a joint venture contract making both parties responsibile for the others activitities and sharing financial burdens.. Tapping government services should be out of the question..

July 04 2011 at 9:32 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Favor With God

I totally agree with (sargecol115) that is a far cry from the truth. Just because some state(s) signed a bill to approve gay marriages is not a way to boost the economic. They are the same people who lived in the United States before this bill was signed and for "Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law to even say that it would generate an extra $1.3 billion over the next three years" is a far lie. The way the money is being generated is by allowing them to wed, and once that is over the money stop will stop coming. It is not creating additional 4,000 jobs, again people need to think about this. It is the same and there is nothing new under the sun. What was stated in the "2004 congressional paper projected that additional revenues of up to $1billion a year would flow into federal coffers" is another lie. The money is only going to flow for a certain time after you allow them to wed and it will go back to the same old, same old. Again there is nothing new under the sun.....

July 02 2011 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sargecol115

I turn to Daily Finance to gather real economic information, not some far reaching article on how gay marriage will boost the economy, Mr Dicker.

July 01 2011 at 11:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

I believe in live and let live but marriage is for a man and a woman. Why do gays want to marry anyway? Everyone else seems to just want to live together.

July 01 2011 at 10:41 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
johnaless2

YUCK!

July 01 2011 at 6:14 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Steve

This is a receptacle for the same hate (likely from their descendants) that spilled when blacks were allowed to vote, and eat in the same restaurant spaces as other races. I would guess some of them have ancestral sheets and hoods. They hid then under bed clothes, now it's the internet. Hate will never win, will never be the right course.

July 01 2011 at 4:16 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steve's comment
savemycountry911

So, are you Juan...........I mean one?

July 01 2011 at 10:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
BeagleDawg

I'm tired of this crap. Gay people have serious psycological problems and by no stretch of your imagination are they normal. Passing laws to legalize gay marriage does not make gays normal.

July 01 2011 at 3:25 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BeagleDawg's comment
savemycountry911

Watch out Geezer, jfk will prance over and hit you with his purse.

July 01 2011 at 9:35 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
zattico

if two of them were living together before and they were filing as singles then presto chango they become married they will file as married and pay lower taxes wha ha you have lower revenues which is good for them but you know not so good for new york so take that you libs

July 01 2011 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
s9876mm

Jimmy Vali, whose band plays weddings for a minimum of $11,000. B.S. on the 11K. If so wedding band players would be the thickest part of a phone book, instead of the lawyer section.

July 01 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply