Best Argument For Gay Marriage: The Wedding-Planners!

Seriously, the upholding of Prop 8 may have upset a lot of people, but did anyone think of the caterers? The florists? The tent-rental guys?

Think about it: as a piece in Forbes explains, if even half of the approximately 781,267 same-sex couples in the U.S. were granted, and took, the opportunity to marry, it could save an industry that's otherwise been hit hard by the economy - to the tune of $10 billion in additional revenue.

Although the average same-sex couple spends only a third on weddings as do their straight counterparts, this could change as gay marriage achieves increasing acceptance and becomes more wide-spread. Part of the discrepancy, says one researcher, is due to circumstances, the fact that after waiting for many years for the right to do so, many couples - some already formally committed - want to be married as a quickly as possible. Or, as one researcher in the article explains it, "It takes time to spend a lot of money." And one imagines that attitudes towards gay marriage would also be a factor. Hopefully, the days of disapproving relatives boycotting the big day are numbered; an attitude change - and more tailored options for same-sex couples - could mean an embrace of more elaborate nuptials. To say nothing of the same parental money given towards same-sex marriages as funds many a hetero wedding.

One wonders, however, if it could take a few years for the excess levels to catch up: with the true meaning of marriage so fresh in everyone's mind, will the bells and whistles seem less important? Or - not? After all, however much we might bemoan the increasing materialism of the modern wedding,the chocolate fountain, the carpet of rose petals and the fortnight at Sandals is a right that all Americans are entitled to. And the wedding industry will surely be happy to remind you of this.

The $9.5 Billion Gay Marriage Windfall [Forbes]