Gay marriages: $259-million economic boost to NYC in one year

Gay marriages: $259-million economic boost to NYC in one year
John Feinblatt, top right, and Jonathan Mintz, top left, exchange rings as their daughters Maeve, left, and Georgia look on as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiates at Gracie Mansion on Tuesday in New York. A new report found that gay marriages brought a $259-million economic boost to New York City last year.
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)

One year after New York made same-sex marriage legal in the state, a report backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg found that the Marriage Equality Act boosted the economy by $259 million in NYC alone.

At least 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in New York City in the last year, according to a statement from the mayor. That’s more than 10% of the 75,000 total licenses issued by the city since July 24, 2011.

The weddings helped bring the city $16 million in direct revenue, according to a report conducted by the City Clerk’s Office and NYC & Co., the official marketing and tourism agency.

“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 in his statement.


Other highlights of the report:

  • Same-sex marriage events drew 296,000 guests – 201,600 of them coming from outside the five boroughs
  • Guests booked more than 235,000 nights in hotel rooms at a daily rate of $275 per room.
  • Only half of same-sex couples had a budget in mind while planning their weddings, which averaged $9,039 each.
  • More than two-thirds of same-sex couples held their receptions at restaurants, homes, hotels or catering halls in the five boroughs.
  • More than 40,000 wedding announcements were printed and more than 47,000 wedding favors were purchased.
  • Of the 7,184 married couples who identified themselves as gay, 3,898 were male unions, 3,286 were female.

The economic overtones of the gay marriage debate have been especially pronounced recently. Kraft’s Facebook photo of a rainbow-colored Oreo cookie generated both disgust and praise from customers.
The uproar over Chick-fil-A’s stance on the issue has caused the fast-food chain to lose a business partner while also inspiring boycotts from diners as well as extra traffic from supporters. Hundreds have signed up on Facebook to protest outside Chick-fil-A restaurants Wednesday night with same-sex embraces.



Chick-fil-A steps out of public debate on gay marriage

Is Chick-fil-A anti-gay marriage? ‘Guilty as charged,’ leader says

LGBT Oreo: Businesses embrace gay pride, and controversy follows

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