In the grandest tradition of political timidity, I am going to bravely not take a stance on gay weddings. The Democrats and Republicans have already announced their intentions to spit at each other over this: I ain’t getting involved.
But as a responsible direct marketing columnist, I am going to take a stance on gay wedding registries. I’m for ‘em. Big time.
I want to encourage additional purchases made on behalf of gay people. The increased sales volume should help keep prices down. I am especially in favor of this latter point, as I plan to make a few major purchases for myself later this year. As Daffy Duck once said, I may be a coward (in refusing to take a stance about gay marriage) but I’m a greedy coward.
Any marketer with a footprint in a high-density gay area – and thanks to the Internet, that’s pretty much any marketer in the country -- should be mobilizing its political action committee. If firms stand by and do not encourage consumers to spend, they are shirking their fiduciary responsibility, and this inaction will open the door to shareholder lawsuits.
That’s the stick: Now, the carrot. His and his or hers and hers wedding registries mean more household gifts. They mean more event hall rentals. For those couples choosing to have destination weddings, they mean more plane tickets and hotel rooms. For printers with small-run presses, they mean ancillary business printing “save the date” announcements. And for list brokers and managers, they mean a plethora of new bride and groom file opportunities.
The obvious question is, “What about civil unions?” It’s a fair question, and here’s the answer: For a wedding, I’ll press my suit, pick out a fairly expensive silver-plated pickle dish as a gift, and make the trip to wherever. It’s a lot harder to open my wallet for something as bland-sounding as a civil union.
The gay community’s flag may be a rainbow, but its money is still green (except for 20-dollar bills, which have recently taken on peach and teal hues. But that’s true of money spent by heterosexuals as well.)
There will be those who argue this constitutes endorsing a so-called immoral act. I realize some faiths have religious prohibitions against homosexuality, and by extension against homosexual marriages. I will not ask any company to move against the morals of its executives. Now, let’s talk about the provenance of all the electronic goods that are produced from slave-labor-utilizing countries such as China.
I’m certain that I’ll receive responses to this column that call me unprintable variations on “homosexual sympathizer.” That’s to be expected. But I ask that within the string of certain epithets, responders kindly include the truest characterization of all: Savvy capitalist.
Write to your elected representatives, folks: The right to spend money on behalf of gay couples is the American way. Hey, anybody ever notice that when Old Glory’s red, white and blue are blended, the result is a lovely shade of lavender?
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