The long wait is over for same-sex couples to be able to get married. California is preparing for the “new summer of love,” as it is being dubbed here: the legalization of same-sex marriage beginning at 5:01 P.M. TODAY.
Unlike in Massachusetts, California’s new law does not limit marriages to residents of the state. According to Community Marketing Inc., a gay and lesbian market research firm, four of the top 10 gay travel destinations are in California, with gay men and lesbians spending $64 billion a year on domestic leisure travel. The potential windfall of same-sex marriage was underscored this week in a study by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, which estimated that over three years, same-sex nuptials would contribute $684 million to the state’s wedding industry and $64 million to the state budget. The study also predicted that half of California’s 102,639 gay couples would marry over the next three years, as would 68,000 from out of state (including 12,000 from New York.)