CNBC Hypes California Gay Marriage as an Economic Salvation

Pushing a liberal social agenda is the last thing you'd expect to see on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." But the network's June 16 mid-morning show featured a segment praising the California Supreme Court for legalizing same-sex marriage because of a predicted economic benefit.

"This time around, one study expects over 100,000 gay couples will tie the knot, providing a boost to California's ailing economy hit hard by the real estate foreclosure meltdown," CNBC Silicon Valley Bureau Chief Jim Goldman said.

Goldman cited data from the pro-gay Williams Institute, a division of the University of California Los Angeles School of Law. According to its Web site, the Williams Institute "advances sexual orientation law and public policy through rigorous, independent research and scholarship, and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media and the public."

"Overall, they'll have about a $684-million boost to the economy over the next three years," Williams Institute Research Director Lee Badgett told CNBC.

California's gross domestic product was $1.55 trillion in 2007. The potential "boost" - an average of $228 million annually - would add a little over 1/100th of 1 percent (0.0147 percent) to the California economy.

"New partnerships, new revenue - as California prepares to say ‘I do' to a flood of same-sex weddings," Goldman added.

Still, Goldman warned the state could miss out on this economic impact if Californians decide to amend the state constitution on November 4 to reverse the court's decision and limit marriage to a union between one man and one woman.

"And indeed, the celebrations and ceremonies will begin later today, but all of this could come to a screeching halt come November when a ballot measure seeks to reverse all this," Goldman warned. "But, in between now and then - we're talking big-time bucks - lots of money for a lot of vendors looking for a host of new ways, well, to generate some cash."