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More LGBT weddings? More wedding cakes!

After the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in America, cake decorator Jan Kish's phone began to ring off the hook. She's one of a new group of wedding specialists who cater to the LGBT community. And it's not just the wedding industry that can benefit financially from same-sex marriage. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports from Ohio.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    In the days since the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal around the nation, our correspondent Paul Solman has been looking at the likely financial boost for the wedding industry and the broader economy.

    He went to Ohio, one of the four states at the center of the case that was before the Supreme Court.

    It’s part of our weekly segment Making Sense, which airs every Thursday on the “NewsHour.”

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    From her home base in Columbus, Ohio, Jan Kish helps cater weddings worldwide.

    So, you’re going to slice off…

  • JAN KISH, Owner, La Petite Fleur:

    I’m going to cut off the top of the bottle.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    And this is in addition to the cake that you provide?

  • JAN KISH:

    It’s a tradition, right? And then the bride and groom can use this fabulous saber to cut their cake with.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Ah. I got it. OK, so go ahead.

    Kish doesn’t just pop the cork. Kish dispatches it. And she has long been receptive to other innovations in the wedding industry, assisting early on in gay marriages.

    Now, this isn’t a particular gay wedding thing, is it?

  • JAN KISH:

    No, it is a celebration thing. But I have a gay friend who is getting married. And he would like to have five bare-chested men with five sabers opening five bottles of champagne all at the same time.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Is it going to happen?

  • JAN KISH:

    It is. You betcha.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Rated one of the country’s top 10 cake bakers, Jan Kish is part of a new group of local wedding specialists called Pride Perfect founded by a local photographer to bring together top talent friendly to the LGBT community.

    And Kish’s wedding cakes? The sky’s the limit, from van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to a steampunk concoction gilded with silver and gold leaf.

    Which should I try first here?

  • JAN KISH:

    This is a favorite chocolate cake with a mocha buttercream.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Let’s try that. This is a particularly enjoyable way to shoot a story.

  • JAN KISH:

    Yes.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Another member of Pride Perfect weddings, the gown shop of Lindsay Fork, similarly offbeat, suits for lesbian brides, for example, who might or might not want to flaunt their femininity.

  • LINDSAY FORK, Owner, La Jeune Mariee Bridal Boutique:

    This is a very scandalous top. It can be worn underneath the jacket or by itself.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Cinderella poufs, crowns of jewels. Fork’s inventory runs the gamut from traditional to cutting edge.

    How do you handle the situation of two brides, but they don’t want the same wedding dress?

  • LINDSAY FORK:

    It’s quite funny, actually. A lot of times, they don’t want to see each other because they want it to be a surprise, as any man and or woman wouldn’t want to see each other before the ceremony. So we would actually take them into different dressing rooms with different stylists, and have them go through the entire process as though they were just there alone.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    So the gay marriage court decision is good for the gown-monger, good for the baker, good for Ohio, says florist Mary Ernst, as local couples now stay put.

  • MARY ERNST, Owner, Rose Bredl:

    They don’t have to go out of state and marry. Like, a lot of our customers were going to New York or Massachusetts to get married. So now they can do it here.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    But, of course, even the sweetest rose has its thorns. Jan Kish has brandished the rainbow flag on her Web site since she launched it years ago. But a recent hire apparently didn’t realize the business was sexual orientation-blind until this weekend.

  • JAN KISH:

    Because of her religious beliefs, she has decided to step back from La Petite Fleur.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    She quit?

  • JAN KISH:

    Yes. She is leaving.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Because you serve gay customers?

  • JAN KISH:

    Right. Because we support the gay community, she feels that she doesn’t want to be part of that because of her religious background. And that’s fine. You know, that’s her moral stance, and she has a right to that.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    You didn’t try to talk her out of it?

  • JAN KISH:

    I asked her for two weeks’ notice.

    (LAUGHTER)

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Even in gay-friendly Columbus, Ohio, then, religious prejudice can still trump economic self-interest.

    But there are economic benefits aplenty in legalizing gay marriage, and not just in Ohio.

  • JANIS COWHEY, Partner, Marcum LLP:

    We have just a wedding industry that’s about to boom. Now you can get married in all 50 states. So there will be weddings, there will be honeymoons, there will be planning.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    There will also be plenty of new business for the likes of Janis Cowhey, an accountant and lawyer.

  • JANIS COWHEY:

    We have got accountants who need to do tax returns, maybe amended tax returns, maybe review past tax returns. And we have got lawyers who need to review estate planning documents, you know, what do you need to do going forward, what do you have in place until now, so there’s a lot that’s going to change.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    And of course, there will be more divorces. But locally, says Columbus’ Bill LaFayette, who runs the Ohio regional development firm Regionomics.

  • BILL LAFAYETTE, Regionomics:

    By far, the biggest impact is going to be on the work force.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Because of people who will now stay in Ohio, as opposed to moving out of state, and especially those most likely to be economic innovators.

  • BILL LAFAYETTE:

    Creative people like open and accepting spaces because, they want to know that despite the fact that they may think differently from the typical person, they’re not going to be laughed at. So, gays and lesbians aren’t — are really the canary in the coal mine.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    As it happens, LaFayette himself is about to tie the gay knot. He and Ron Templin have been together 12 years, had a commitment ceremony in church in 2003. But they weren’t legally able to be wed in Ohio and considered moving to Massachusetts, until last week.

  • RON TEMPLIN, Ohio:

    I was at work. And the people had gathered around my desk to wait for the decision, and the minute the decision happened, I, of course, broke down in tears, and some other of my teammates did as well.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Were they gay?

  • RON TEMPLIN:

    No, these were all straight. All of my members on the team are straight, but very supportive. And they’re allies. And…

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    So they cried too?

  • RON TEMPLIN:

    Yes, they cried as well. And they congratulated me.

    And I instantly I.M.ed my supervisor and said may I leave and get my marriage license? And she said, of course, go.

  • And so I was the first one in my car, and we were at the courthouse by 11:

    00 p.m. getting our marriage license.

  • BILL LAFAYETTE:

    I didn’t cry. I think I was just — I was numb. And this I.M. came in from Ron: “I’m coming home. We’re going to get our marriage license.”

    And I was like, yes, yes, yes.

  • PAUL SOLMAN:

    Which is what the majority of the Supreme Court said, though rather more sedately, on Friday.

    This is economics correspondent Paul Solman, reporting for the “PBS NewsHour” from Columbus, Ohio.

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