Tag Archives: Marriage Equality Act

Same-sex marriage generated $259 million in first year


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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A first anniversary is always exciting, and this one even more so.

July 24 marked one year since the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. The thousands of same-sex couples that married in New York City since gay marriage became legal in the state on July 24, 2011, have brought in millions for the city. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office estimated that the nuptials have generated $259 million in economic impact and $16 million in revenue. On average, same-sex couples spent $9,039 for their wedding celebrations.

Marriage license application forms don’t require individuals to identify their sex, so there is no exact count of how many same-sex licenses were issued. However, in the past year, of those who did identify, 58,136 couples were heterosexual and 7,184 were same-sex. Of those, 574 were from Queens.

Out of the same-sex couples, 3,898 were male and 3,286 were female.

When the Marriage Equality Act passed, the city hoped for these positive economic numbers. After the legalization, NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, launched its “NYC I DO” campaign, promoting the city as a top wedding and honeymoon destination.

On July 28, openly gay Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and his partner will join the thousands of same-sex couples who have celebrated their weddings in the city.

“Love and commitment are worthy of celebration and New York City is once again at the forefront of equality. We are all enriched when people are free to be who they are, love who they love, and yes, marry the one they choose,” said Van Bramer.

His wedding and reception will take place at Studio Square in Long Island City.

Riverview restaurant is another popular place in LIC to hold wedding receptions, with its beautiful views of the water and Manhattan skyline. Before the Marriage Equality Act, same-sex couples celebrated their relationships at the restaurant, but it’s held many wedding receptions for gay couples in the past year, said general manager Kimo Raouf, including 10 to 15 in the last couple of months.

Riccardo’s by the Bridge, a catering facility in Astoria, has also seen an uptick, but only a small one.

“I did feel that it certainly would open up marriage to a new market,” said Anthony Corbisiero, Ricarrdo’s president. “Honestly, I thought we would do more.”

Before the legalization, the venue had about one or two same-sex weddings a year, and in the past year has had about four.