Wedding Shopping in NYC

On June 29th, 2011, the New York state’s lawmaker legalized gay marriage.

The law is meant to bring marriage equality to the state of New York (hence its name: the Marriage Equality Act).  This is because, the bill memo explained, “the freedom to marry is, in the words of the US Supreme Court, one the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free people”.

But it is also expected that the law will bring some USD 311 million in revenue of all kinds to the state. A report released by the state Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference has estimated that, within three years, the state would earn in marriage license fees (3m), sales tax (22m), but also in wedding revenue and tourism (283m) and hotel occupancy taxes (259,000).

The reason why the new law would generate tourism revenue would not only be because the relatives of the future spouses would travel to New York for the ceremony. It would first and foremost be because couples living in states where same sex marriage is not allowed would come to marry in New York. The report predicts that while 21,000 couples living in New York would benefit from the new law, 3,300 couples living in surrounding states with less liberal laws would also come to marry in New York, and that more than 40,000 couples would travel to New York as a wedding destination.