Same-Sex Marriage Earned $259 Million for New York City

Figures announced on first anniversary of historic marriage equality decision

One year after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature agreed to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, officials have reported an economic windfall for the city and state.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta and New York City Clerk Michael McSweeney announced at a press conference July 24 that same-sex weddings have generated $259 million in economic impact and about $16 million in actual revenues.

At least 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in the first year, accounting for more than 10 percent of the 75,000 marriage licenses issued in New York City since July 24, 2011. Of the same-sex couples, 3,898 were male couples and 3,286 were female (others chose not to indicate their gender).

The economic impact survey found that same-sex marriages generated significant additional revenue for New York City’s tourism industry, with more than half of same-sex couples holding wedding celebrations in venues across the five boroughs. More than 200,000 guests traveled from outside of the city to same-sex marriage events, and more than 235,000 hotel room nights were booked at an average daily room rate of $275.

Since the Marriage Equality Act went into effect on July 24, 2011, 67 percent of same-sex couples held wedding receptions at restaurants, homes, hotels or catering halls in the five boroughs, with 296,500 guests and 201,600 of them traveling from outside of the City.

Only half of same-sex couples had a budget in mind when planning their wedding, but they averaged costs of $9,039 for their wedding celebration and 31 percent spent $10,000 or more. Approximately 235,900 hotel room nights were booked, more than 40,000 wedding announcements were printed, and 47,445 wedding favors were purchased all adding up to additional revenue for New York City.

“The widespread reach marriage equality has had in New York extends beyond the fundamental need to make sure all people are free to marry the person of their choosing,” said Speaker Quinn, a newlywed herself. “Our economy has also reaped the benefits full equality has to offer and the impressive economic impact same-sex marriage has and will continue to have on our city is a boon for New York.”

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