Gay marriage could bring economic benefit to Kern County

Gay marriage could bring economic benefit to Kern County »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A community waiting for their day to say "I do" won’t have to wait much longer. Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for same-sex marriages in California, five years after voter-approved Proposition 8 banned same-sex marriages.

Whitney Weddell, chair of the Bakersfield LGBTQ, said there are several couples that she knows of who are waiting to get married and have been since back in 2008, the year Prop 8 was passed.

“This is going to be a big economic boom,” Weddell said.

Churches in Kern County that will perform same-sex marriages >>

Kyle Brown, executive director of the Kern County Bridal Association, said Thursday that he believes this will increase the number of marriages licenses issued within the county by about 10 to 15 percent.
Weddell said the gay community is excited about the opportunity to once again be able to plan their wedding ceremonies, but they do feel it’s important to have providers and service vendors who are gay friendly.

“Being gay friendly doesn’t necessarily mean just wanting gay money.  It means being able to treat people with respect, dignity and not feeling awkward if two men decide to kiss each other while they’re planning their ceremony,” said Weddell.