Gay Marriage Boosts NYC Economy

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Rachel Baker, left, and Christine Tully wait in line to get their marriage license at the Manhattan City Clerk's office in New York on July 24, 2011.

In New York City, wedding guests aren’t just throwing rice—they’re throwing cash. Since legalizing gay marriage a year ago, New York City has reaped $259 million worth of economic benefits. At least 8,200 gay-marriage licenses were issued, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Council Speaker Christine Quinn, which means that more than 200,000 out-of-town guests have traveled to the Big Apple to attend same-sex ceremonies. More than 250,000 hotel rooms were booked at the average daily rate of $275. New York is the sixth state to legalize gay marriage, and legislatures in Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington passed similar laws this year that have yet to take effect.