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New York City says 'I do' to $275-million boost from gay marriage

July 25, 2012|By Rene Lynch
  • Officials estimate gay marriage has had an economic impact of $275 million on New York City in the past year.
Officials estimate gay marriage has had an economic impact of $275 million… (Fay Abuelgasim / Associated…)

The Big Apple raked in $275 million in economic benefits plus city revenues directly linked to New York state's decision to embrace gay marriage.

“Marriage equality has made our city more open, inclusive and free -- and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference this week.

New York legalized gay marriage in July 2011. Since then, more than 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in New York City, about 10% of all marriage licenses issued in the city during that time, officials said.

In turn, it is estimated that more than 200,000 guests have traveled to New York City to attend same-sex wedding receptions, and more than 235,000 hotel room nights were booked at an average daily room rate of $275, according to an economic impact survey conducted by NYC & Co. and the City Clerk’s Office.

Such spending amounted to about $259 million in economic benefits for the city, and an additional $16 million in city revenues, according to Bloomberg's office.

The impact is likely to boost an "NYC I Do" marketing campaign aimed at making New York City the world's No. 1 spot for gay weddings and honeymoons. But it's unlikely to change the minds of the many people in America who oppose gay marriage.

Joining Bloomberg at the news conference was New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who said New York City's role in gay marriages goes beyond the financial.

"Here we have a moment to celebrate a year of unadulterated joy," Quinn, who recently married her same-sex partner in a ceremony attended by the mayor and other elected officials, was quoted as saying. "What better thing could the government do than pass laws that make people equal?"

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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