05/10/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Gay Marriage Bubble

While reading Cynthia Nixon's recent post on the failure of the New YorkState legislature to pass a gay marriage bill, I had an epiphany.  As the corporate flack says in the movie Avatar,"Look at all that cheddar."  


Modified screen shot from the movie Avatar

Here's the problem;  New York State is flat broke and we've got a 9 billion dollar gap in our forthcoming budget.  Gay marriage is our solution, but only if we act soonbecause we already have competition.  Let's implore our deardeparting Governor to do more than just recognize that others have done theright thing, let's demand that he make New York the Las Vegas of gay marriage.

Think of it as opening a foreign market up to ourexports, although in its current state of affairs it might be the most suspectproduct offering since shipping the Pinto to Japan. In 1990 9.8 people for every 1000 of us in the United Statesmarried.  10 years later it had fallento 8.3, and by 2006 it had fallen to 7.5.   Half of all those who do get married, will get divorced.  At this rate, if we restrict the legal right to marryto heterosexuals, the marriage industrial complex in the United States will gothe way of factories.

Dan Savage writes that about four percent ofthe population is gay so that works out to about 7,600,000 more marriageeligible adults.  Let's be optimistic and saythere is pent up demand for marriage in the gay community and so 20 percent ofthem want to get hitched.  That's 760,000 weddingsright?  We make New York the funnestplace to get hitched, and we can capture half the gay nuptials every year.

Let's add up all that cheddar.  Americans spend an average of $25,000 on their celebrationsbut lets be honest, in New York you couldn't rent a closet large enough for thePatterson re-election committee for that kind of scratch.  Cynthia and Michelle aren't escaping the Waldorf for under $500k notincluding their gorgeous, lesbian designed wedding rings.

 I'mgoing to say that the average wedding held in the city is going to run to$75,000, therefore we could boost our local economy with an immediate jolt of2.85 billion dollars, followed by another billion every year in queercouplings. 


Wedding rings by gay jeweler Nora Kogan for St Kilda.

But seriously folks, this is about love and light.  It's about civil rights, it's about human rights.  In preparation for writing this I asked myfather-in-law, Robert Leonard Powers, retired Episcopal Priest and esteemed Adlerian Psychologist, for his thoughts.  His full comments are herebut I'm going finish out therest of this post with his last three paragraphs.  He writes:

Old ideas about marriage, its nature, itssocial purpose, its stability, and its sanctity have been steadily questionedever since the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the discovery of reliablebirth-control. This has occasioned a great deal of uneasiness, as anydisruption of custom and expectation is bound to do, and with this comesviewing with alarm, denunciations, and rear-guard efforts to paste up theshreds of patriarchal history.

Knowing this, there is certainly a touchingconfidence revealed in the continuing idea that sacred ceremony can serve tosafeguard any personal (and commonly all-too-often impermanent) efforts atfidelity and solemn covenant.  When same-sexed coupleswho treasure each other's being in the world want to present themselvessomewhere regarded as sacred space, and to act in what they want to be a sacredway in declaring their desire to love and to cherish each other throughout thevicissitudes of mortal life, it seems grudging to argue that they must berefused whatever strength and consolation may come through a priest's prayersand acts of blessing. We can only hope that now, in a turbulent time of change, it may help them, whenthey encounter refusal, to remember that for one thousand or more years anysexual  union of any kind wasrefused this blessing.


Robert L. Powers and his wife Jane Griffith of almost 30 years

To shift to my Clinical Psychology position, I canonly add that it is crazy to oppose the actions of people who mean no harm toyou, and do no harm to you. The less sympathy you are able to have for peopleunlike you the more vulnerable you are to mental illness and every otherself-crippling limitation. The less you are able to treasure the variant on thehuman possibilities of loyalty and mutual care represented by those whoseexperiences of life are and have been, often painfully, unlike yours, and themore hostile and antagonistic your feelings are with respect to them, thegreater the danger, to you and to the rest of us, that you will be inclined todo harm. The commandment to love your neighbor as yourself has nothing to dowith religious customs and ceremony. It is the formula for the common life ofhumankind, and of all life, and of all being, to receive, to pass on, and tobestow the happiness that is at the heart of every Blessing.