Marriage Equality: The Cost of Delay

Empire State Building goes rainbowThis week, New York celebrated the one-year anniversary of respecting the right of gay couples to marry.

What kind of economic impact New York seen in that year? Nah, forget that. Let’s just even deal with what kind of money has pumped into New York City in that year, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the recently-married City Council Speaker Christine Quinn:

$259 million. Boom. These Gov. Christie should look long and hard at, if there’s any struggle in him whatsoever between his fiscal responsibilities to New Jersey and his personal-fulfillment desires to score with national Republicans.

That’s minimum 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses issued, more than 10% of the 75,000 licenses the city issued over the last year. The city’s tourism and marketing arm did a survey, compiling enough info to come up with these averages:  

  • $9,000 – what each couple spent on their wedding (average)

  • $12,000 – What each wedding brought in, spent by all wedding guests – includes hotel, transportation.

  • 200,000-plus – guests coming in from outside the city to weddings.

  • 235,000-plus hotel rooms booked at about $275 a pop.

  • $10,500 – the multiplyer effect from each wedding on the city’s economy, including trickle-down effect like financial boon to restaurateurs who get hired for a wedding, who are then able to pay their rent or employees’ wages.

    I’m here to tell you a chunk of that money has been drained out of New Jersey, like when Alex & Sean got married in NYC instead of central NJ where they live.

    Balloons. Flowers. Wedding clothes. Banquet rooms. Invitations. Catering. Restaurants. Rehearsal dinners. Photographers. Video. Spa treatments. Mani-pedis. Bands. Gifts. Wedding favors. Wedding planners. Rings. Cakes …

    New York is still in its honeymoon phase and pulling in the cash. New Jersey, now behind such disparate locales as Iowa, Vermont and D.C., is still a little virgin. But she’s ready.  

  • Comments (6)

    1. carolh

      would be doing right now?  It would be AMAZING, the revenue pouring in.  The Governor should be kicking himself – isn’t he the guy who wants to save AC?

    2. iwood

      we’d have if we had marriage equality and a tunnel so New Yorkers could come here easier, either to live or to shop/ vacation.

    3. Alex

      as we began planning our wedding about this time last year, that we would be facing choices of where to spend our money. Frankly, it was a balancing act of wanting to spend as much of our money in New York as possible as a matter of principle on the one hand, and needing to stick to a reasonable budget on the other. Of course the boatload (pardon the pun) of our budget went towards the floating venue for our wedding and we were also glad to enlist a very enthusiastic (and straight!) florist in Manhattan for the flowers.

      Incidentally, I’m on the Inn at Lambertville Station’s email distribution list. I had long imagined having our wedding there, in the event New Jersey had enacted marriage equality, as it afforded a view of Pennsylvania, a state I had called home for so long and which remains quite unfriendly from a civil protections point of view to gay couples. Every email I get from them reminds me that we would gladly have spent our wedding dollars in the Garden State had that been the case. Instead, we got married in Manhattan, with a view of New Jersey across the river instead. At the risk of sounding arrogant, it’s New Jersey’s loss.

    4. Jay Lassiter

      …with Jeff and Ari. Or Steven and Daniel. Or Marsha and Louise. Of even Greg and Jay.  That’s what? $100,000 in stimulus right there!!!!!


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