Gay marriage to boost wedding business

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 3 at 12:33 PM

SEATTLE -- The Ballard Blossom already sells flower arrangements for gay and lesbian weddings.  Now, after the state Senate passed HB 6239, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, just about everyone in the industry is confident that the wedding business is going to pick up.

As the biggest romantic flower day approaches, Washington's floral industry is gearing up for another money maker: Same-sex marriages.

"I think once its legalized we'll see bigger celebrations, more traditional," said Rachel Martin with Ballard Blossom.

Wedding planner Travis McBurney caters to to gay and lesbian clients, who now are only a small portion of his business.

"[They make up] maybe five percent, but I think it will grow," said McBurney.

Under HB 6239, churches, mosques, temples and their clergy may refuse to marry same-sex couples without penalty.  

There are no comperable exemptions for businesses like wedding planners, photographers and florists who are religiously opposed to such unions.

At E.E. Robins, an engagement ring store, the coming law will be a blessing for business.

"We're going to see more traditional rings sold," said Eric Freund with E.E. Robins.

From rings to flowers to wine glasses, the industry is gearing up for a wedding windfall.  

Under the the new bill, domestic partners who are already registered will have until June 30th, 2014 to marry.  If they dont, the state will automatically convert their unions to a marriage.

 

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