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California's economy could get boost from same-sex marriages

In various states across the country, marriage is no longer limited to a union between a man and a woman. Over the last 15 years, the right to marry has been expanded to more and more citizens without the requirement that a union be limited to heterosexual partners. Now same-sex marriages are increasingly common and will probably increase in the years and decades ahead. California is one of the states that is expected to benefit from more same-sex weddings, possibly adding as much as $414 million each year to the state's economy.

Overall, the United States is expected to add $2.5 billion from same-sex weddings --nationally, the wedding industry currently takes in some $51 billion each year. If same-sex marriage is legalized in all 50 states, every state economy would benefit, but California'swould benefit most simply because it has the largest population.California's $414 million figure is at least double what the nextclosest state's take would beifgay and lesbian marriages are legalized nationwide. Although California is expected to take in the most money from same-sex marriage, it currently ranks behind five other states -- Maryland, Hawaii, New Jersey, Connecticut and Virginia -- in average cost per wedding at $33,362.

A personal finance site that crunched the numbers has assumed wedding costs to be equivalentbetween heterosexual and same-sex marriages. The initial totals would probably be higher because of pent-up demand by same-sex couples,but ultimately the costs would level off and there would probably be no real difference in how much any couple would spend on a wedding.

Same-sex unions may be on the rise, but this family lawdevelopment definitely remains a sensitive issue for many Americans, and any same-sex couple looking to wed should probably consult an attorney for clarification of the law and its consequences.

Source: CBS San Francisco, "Same-Sex Marriages Projected To Add $414 Million To California Economy," Nov.12, 2014

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