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New York reaps economic benefits of same-sex marriage celebrations

Legalizing gay marriage a year ago in New York not only brought equal marriage rights to the state, but also economic benefits, say New York City officials.

Same-sex marriages contributed $259 million in economic benefits and $16 million in city revenue through increased tourism, such as hotel rooms for wedding celebrations, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and other officials reported Tuesday.

Quinn, the city's first female and first openly gay speaker who recently married her partner, joined NOW with Alex Wagner Tuesday to discuss the one-year milestone. 

"There are very few things we in government can do that are just about happiness, just about bringing people joy—this is one of them," Quinn said. "I have seen the city and the state be lifted up by this law over the past 12 months. I would say to the people in other parts of the country who think the sky is going to fall in if you bring equal rights to LGBT people, it is quite the opposite."

An estimated 8,200 same-sex marriage licenses were issued over the last year, making up 10% of the total issued in New York City, the city said following an economic impact survey conducted by NYC & Co., the city's tourism arm, and the City Clerk Office.