Legalizing gay marriage could bring more to New York than equality. It might just give the economy a boost, too.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to reveal a campaign in the coming days to promote New York City as a gay-marriage destination for couples around the country, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.
On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed gay marriage into law, making it the largest state in the country to do so, Reuters reported.
The "NYC I Do" campaign is meant to create "millions of dollars in additional economic impact" for New York City's $31 billion tourism industry, a spokesperson for Mayor Bloomberg's marketing office told Bloomberg News. In a 2007 report, former city Controller Bill Thompson found gar marriage would pump $142 million into the economy of New York City alone.
A recent report by the Independent Democratic Conference estimates that about 63,000 gay and lesbian couples will marry in New York within the next three years, with two-thirds of them coming from out of state for a "destination wedding." The law will go into effect on July 24.
The infusion of cash would help an economy that continues to struggle in the aftermath of the recession, especially with the state unemployment rate having declined only eight percent during the past year, to 7.9 percent from 8.6 percent. On top of that, the New York state deficit has been a major problem confronting the state government, and the legislature has remained in deadlock over how to fix it.
Once the law was passed, couples who had discussed going to another state to join in holy matrimony changed their plans, according to the Associated Press.
One gay rights activist told USA Today that by setting a precedent, the New York law may inspire new efforts in other states.
"When New York does something, the country watches," Sean Eldredge, political director of the gay rights group Freedom to Marry, told USA Today.
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