One year ago today, New York became the sixth state to legalized same-sex marriage. Proving a boon to the economy, New York City netted a whopping $259 million in the past year, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. After a contentious battle in the senate, the freedom to marry passed with bipartisan support in the Republican-controlled legislature—having failed to do so in 2009—and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo late Friday, June 24, 2011. The timely passage coincided with New York’s gay pride celebrations.
As the largest state to offer the freedom to marry to same sex couples, the law more than doubled the number of Americans living in a state with the privilege, from 16 million to 35 million people. “Extending the freedom to marry to loving and committed same-sex couples in New York was a tremendous and transformative moment for the state, the nation, and the world,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director of Freedom to Marry, who joined city officials this morning in marking the anniversary at a celebration announcement.
More that ten percent of the 75,000 of marriage licenses issued in New York City were to same-sex couples. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s stated that over 200,000 out of town guests had traveled to New York to attend same-sex nuptials, booking over 235,000 nights at hotels throughout of the city.
Among those to celebrate the freedom to marry was New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who wed her longtime partner, Kim Catullo, on May 21 in a ceremony surrounded by family, friends and politicians. Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame married her partner, Christine Marinoni, on May 27. Coincidentally, both Quinn and Nixon wore sleeveless gowns by Carolina Herrera.