Palm Springs anticipates surge of same-sex weddings

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - "We're already sort of a gay mecca out here as far as tourism," Reggie Cameron from the Skylark Hotel said.

Palm Springs might soon be a wedding mecca. At least that's what some local businesses think as the Supreme Court considers two same-sex marriage cases.

"I lived in San Francisco when Prop 8 was brought in and I think we saw about $18 million in increased revenue for hotel sales, tax revenue, etcetera from tourism specifically from people getting married in San Francisco," Cameron said.

The cases awaiting decision are Proposition 8, the voter approved ban on same-sex marriage in California, and the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a federal law that defines marriage between a man and a woman.

Half of the dozen or so weddings The Skylark will host in the next few months are same-sex couples.

"We've had a lot of reservations coming in, a lot of activity. People who are already planning on having weddings, vacations and honeymoons here. The hotel is completely booked through August," Cameron said.
My Little Flower Shop in Palm Springs is making some big changes in anticipation of the big business ahead.

"We're really gearing up for it. We're putting in a warehouse, a large warehouse, with a  walk-in so we can really accommodate all that business," Gregory Goodman from My Little Flower Shop said.

All this preparation means one thing.

"I think we are all very optimistic here in the valley and we are expecting things to go in our favor to get granted marriage equality," Cameron said.

"You're talking probably 60 to 70 percent of Palm Springs is gay, so all those people are able to finally get married. It'll be amazing,"  Goodman said.

The court is expected to issue rulings again Tuesday starting at 7 a.m. With six cases left this term,  most experts predict the same-sex marriage cases may be the last to be decided.

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