June 16th, 2008 has to become a historic day for the State of California. The local Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal in California last month, and couples of the same sex are able to register for legal marriage by recognition from the California government at 17:01 on June 16th.
Before, in the United States, only Massachusetts legally allowed gay marriage, and it only referred to its state residents. However, California is welcoming gay partners from all over the States to come and register. Thousands of homosexual couples are expected to swarm into California and get married. At the same time, an influx of large number of business opportunities is also expected to bring a strong local economic boost.
According to "Ming Pao Daily News" , 66-year-old Taylor and her 54-year-old lesbian lover Olsen have been fighting for gay marriage rights over the years. Because of their incessant appeal, the California Supreme Court ultimately overthrew the injunction on same-sex marriage made by state government. This couple is planning to get married at 17:01 on the 16th which will make them the first official same-sex “husband and wife” in Los Angeles county.
“We are getting married outside the court,” Taylor said, “because that is where we’ve been through many years of struggle. It will be wonderful to get married here and announce ‘our victory’." In Californian gay resort West Hollywood, the hotels said that the occupancy rate had been rising crazily after the court ruled gay marriage legal last month. "Our rooms on the 17th were almost fully booked. So will be the coming week. The occupancy rate never reached this high."
A survey report in California pointed out that about 51,000 to 102,000 homosexual couples living in this state will be married in the next three years. And about 68,000 gay couple from other states will seek for legal marriage here in the next three years. They will bring economic benefits of more than 600 million dollars. Economic analyst Kaiser also said that gay marriage could help revive the tourism recession in California.
In Kaiser’s opinion, mainstream homosexuals represent the popular consumers who are extremely welcomed by the merchants - both partners have income and without any burden of raising kids.
There are still some of the more conservative rural areas in California that did not agree on gay marriage, but the travel agencies in big cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco have been actively summoning gays and lesbians. Los Angeles Tourism Bureau has put these words on their official web site: "With its comprehensive history and all kinds of beautiful sights, gay-friendly city Los Angeles will soon become an ideal place where gay couples would prefer to get married."
Netherlands became the world's first country to accept same-sex marriage by law in 2001. Now, gay marriage has been legalized in countries including Belgium, Canada, Spain and Norway.
While other countries have not yet allowed gay marriage, some have endowed them with same rights and status which normal couples enjoy, such as tax relief, the inheritance rights and so on.