Some items that have crossed the LABO news desk these past few days:
--A study by the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute projects that gay couples will pump $684 million into California's economy over the next three years on flowers, cakes, hotels, photographers and other wedding services - provided, of course, that voters don't block same-sex marriages this November. The researchers forecast that 50,000 same-sex couples in California will get married and another 68,000 out-of-state couples will travel to California to exchange vows. From AP:
Researchers studied the economic impact of gay marriage in Massachusetts - the only U.S. state that allows gays and lesbians to marry - to develop their projections for California. They also used data from states such as Vermont that allow civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. The California study focused on the next three years because researchers found the number of gay weddings tapered off three years after Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004.
--Wellsford Realty in San Diego is offering a 33 percent rebate on commissions from the purchase of a house or condo “It’s more than showing appreciation for our customers,” Michelle Koert of Wellsford Realty said of the Pride Promotion. “It is understanding that domestic partners married under the new Same Sex Marriage Law want all of the securities and happiness that investment in a home has to offer a couple.” Luke Mullins at the Home Front likes the idea. "Soften up your new spouse by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a rapidly devaluing asset, and he or she won't even notice when you leave the toilet seat up or pass out in the parking lot," he blogs.
--Kmart's senior VP and chief marketing officer is leaving parent Sears Holdings Corp. to work on the campaign to protect gay marriage in California. Bill Stewart plans to be a full-time volunteer for Equality for All. "I don't know what my role is yet. I imagine it will involve advertising strategy and communications strategy. One way or another, history will be made in California this year, and I want to be a part of that," Stewart said.
--Those wild-and-crazy folks at 99 Cents Only Stores are using the occasion to push their make-believe bridal registry. "Attention brides & grooms. In California also brides & brides and grooms & grooms..." reads yesterday's ad in the LAT. The discounter has pushed its "registry" for so many years that it might be fun for the company just to set one up.