(Reuters) - More than 8,000 same-sex couples have married in New York City in the year since the state legalized gay marriage, generating $259 million for the city’s economy, city officials said on Tuesday.
Same-sex couples account for about 10 percent of the marriage licenses issued by the city since last July, when the state lifted a prohibition on same-sex marriages.
The change has brought $16 million in direct revenue, and considerably more in overall economic impact. A total of 235,000 hotel room nights were booked at an average daily room rate of $275, the city said in a statement.
“Marriage equality has made our city more open, inclusive and free, and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in the statement.
Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia; in addition to New York, those states are Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Connecticut.
Washington and Maryland also have passed laws that give marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples -- but those laws are in limbo pending a vote by citizens this fall. Maine voters also will cast ballots on a same sex marriage referendum this fall.
Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky