One full year after New York State approved marriage-equality legislation, New York City alone reaped $259 million in economic benefits from the measure according to a statement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Since the law went into effect last July, more than 8,200 gay-marriage licenses have been issued in the Big Apple, a nice chunk of the 75,000 licenses issued overall—but hardly proof that, as anti-gay activists predicted, marriage equality would destroy the institution altogether.
The data comes from a survey conducted by the city clerk’s office and NYC & Co., the city’s marketing and tourism office, which launched a “NYC I Do” campaign to help make the city the most popular destination for same-sex nuptials and honeymoons.
Helping to fill the city’s coffers were the more than 200,000 wedding guests who came to New York for same-sex ceremonies, filling up more than 235,000 hotel room nights.
“Marriage equality has made our city more open, inclusive and free—and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy,” said Bloomberg at a news conference.
Quinn brought a more personal perspective to the findings—she and partner Kim Catullo were married in the city in May. “What you can’t quantify is just the joy that has happened in New York City,” she told reporters. “What better thing could government do than pass laws that make people equal, repeal laws that say some of us are unequal, and give families the opportunity to have that once-in-a-lifetime moment when a father can walk his daughter down the aisle.”
Someone get us a hankie!