Don't Play And it's this. The explosion of love and goodwill that would accompany the legalisation of same-sex marriage cannot come soon enough for the Australian economy.
Battered and bruised from the global financial crisis and the end of the mining boom, the Australia economy is in desperate need of a boost to demand to fuel job creation and pay rises. If the High Court challenge fails Australians will be asked for their views on whether same-sex marriage should be legalised.
Business conditions have improved, but consumers have been reluctant to start spending again. Who better to start splashing the cash than a phalanx of new bride and bridegroom-zillas? I've done the numbers. According to the recent census, there are 46, same-sex couples living together in Australia at least, openly gay couples willing to declare it on their census forms.
The tourism sector will get a boost as Australia becomes a new "destination wedding" location for same-sex couples. Many have suggested this estimate is too high — the product of asking a bunch of dedicated bridal magazine readers their nuptial plans — but there is reason to suspect any upcoming same-sex weddings would also be on the more fabulous side of the national average. The government's bottom line will benefit from the tax the businesses that benefit from gay weddings will pay.
Louise Kennerley Same-sex couples, according to the census figures, are more likely to be highly educated, working full time and in managerial and professional jobs. Either way, we're looking at an economic stimulus package of Rudd-like proportions. And better yet, it's all paid for from the private purse, with no drag on the budget bottom line, and even a boost if all the newly employed hair stylists, make-up artists, florists, photographers and caterers pay more tax.
Enough to sway any fiscal conservative, surely. Liberal backbenchers, too, should look forward to a small business boom in their electorates, any remnants of homophobic reluctance likely washed away by the rainbow tidal wave of potential revenue. But it's not just the weddings that will boost the economy. In their note titled "The economic upside of marriage equality", Murphy and Kaura predicted a boost to professional services, with more lawyers needed to draft both prenuptial agreements and — without putting a dampener on things — future divorce settlements.
Then there's the boost to the tourism sector, as Australia becomes a new "destination wedding" location for same-sex couples. There's also the opportunity to steal back wedding business from Aussie couples travelling to New Zealand, where same-sex marriage was legalised in , to wed. State governments too would get a boost, with increased revenue from marriage licence fees and on-site ceremonies in state-run registries.
Finally, there are the more hidden — but very real — benefits of improved mental health and wellbeing for a population of Australians who have suffered discrimination and exclusion for too long. So to those currently steeling themselves against more bitter disappointment, and fearful of the nature of the public debate to come, I say: One day, very soon, we will finally be free to properly acknowledge, and celebrate, the love between you and your current, or future, partner.
Loading At wedding ceremonies around the country, we will cry, sing, laugh and raise a toast to your good health. And then, by George Michael , we will dance; our hearts overbrimming with love.