Best Argument For Gay Marriage: The Wedding-Planners!

Illustration for article titled 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?

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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]

DISCUSSION

hovy-old
hovy

So this has been on my mind a lot lately, the issue of gay marriage and the overall gay rights agenda, and I find myself increasingly annoyed because a lot of it seems to be dominated by white male privilege. Issues such as poverty, healthcare (in general and not just HIV/AIDS-related issues) and education seem to be nonexistent within the gay rights agenda.

So when we hear things like "But think of the money the gays could infuse our economy with!" I can't help but wonder if anyone realizes the implications of such statements? Because let's face it, white gay men tend to continue to out earn queer women and queers of color, affording them a socio-economic status that permits them to be able to afford weddings, condos, and other luxuries that advertisers love to shove down our throats. Meanwhile, queers of color and queer women continue to struggle with the double, and triple, whammies that our patriarchal society has forced upon them. They continue to face poverty and lack of access to basic healthcare. They continue to face discrimination based on their gender, race and also orientation. When we think about or see images of gay marriage in our media, it tends to be that of white male couples, or older white female couples. Harmless, whitewashed imagery that seems to gloss over other issues affecting members of the gay community. Hell, the majority of the gay rights leaders and outspoken advocates are all white males who are of a certain socio-economic status. They can afford their nice homes or condos, their frequent vacations and nice clothing. They can afford to get married and adopt children. But what about the other members of the community? Why must we focus all our collective energy on DOMA and DADT? Why must it be an all or nothing situation?

I don't know. The last few weeks I've found myself continuing to feel disconnected from what I think is a fundamentally flawed and broken gay rights movement and agenda, lead by individuals who don't, and can't, completely understand that the gay community is not populated by strictly white men of a certain status. Of course, the irony in me making these remarks is that I myself am a white gay male, so I benefit from it myself.

So yeah. I'm all for gay marriage, but sometimes I think that when arguments in favor of it are couched in ways such as "think of the money they can spend!" it excludes members of the community who clearly do not belong to the white male socio-economic club that is frequently cited as a boon to the LGBT community. I guess what I'm saying is that I wish we'd have more discourses on these matters than we do. Because it's important.