New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg looks forward to Friday’s marriage equality victory translating into big business for the state.
"We'd love to have you come here," the New York Daily News quotes him as saying to soon-to-be-wed same-sex couples who will be able to legally take the plunge late next month. "Stay in a hotel. Buy flowers, clothes, meals, or whatever. It's good for the economy."
Two years ago, then–city controller William Thompson predicted that same-sex marriage could earn the Big Apple as much as $149 million within three years of its legalization. An alternate analysis earlier this year by Senate Democrats estimated the statewide impact could be closer to half a billion.
In order to capitalize on the business of weddings, officials are putting together an ad campaign to entice out-of-towners to make it legal in the city where the gay rights movement began over 40 years ago.
The city's tourism division, NYC & Company, "is working to create a multichannel, global communications and marketing campaign — NYC I DO — to promote the vibrancy and attractiveness of the five boroughs as a gay weddings destination," said Kimberly Spell, the agency's chief spokeswoman.
Since the date the new law goes into effect, July 24, is a Sunday, marriage licenses for gay couples won't be available until the following day, but officials are hoping to have judges on hand so betrotheds won’t have to go through New York’s standard 24-hour waiting period before ceremonies can be performed.
"I just don't know that everyone is going to rush to New York the first day given there are alternatives," said Bloomberg, "but we will be ready. Will there be lines the first day? Yes. Get ready for it. Get used to it. It's a lot better than no lines."
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