For euphoric same sex couples across New York, the passage of a law legalizing same sex marriage represents an opportunity to have their love recognized and to enjoy the same benefits as other married couples.
For state officials, the law represents a potential economic boon as a surge in new marriages generates revenue in license fees, tourism from other couples traveling to New York to get married and money reaped by the constellation of industries, from caterers to florists, surrounding weddings.
A report from the State Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, prepared before the legislature took up this year's bill, projected about $311 million in revenue if same sex marriage was legalized. The report sought to dispel the conception that tax breaks to same sex married couples would make the law a drain on the state's coffers.
While the economic impact argument may pale in comparison to the more common legal, civil rights and moral principles pointed out by proponents of marriage equality, it is the hopes of the IDC that this study will stifle the arguments that legalization of same-sex marriage will affect state revenues negatively, the report read.
New York City has already launched a campaign to encourage same-sex couples to tie the knot in the birthplace of the gay rights movement. Dubbed NYC I Do, the push will create millions of dollars in additional economic impact, a spokeswoman for the city's marketing office told Bloomberg in an email.
Clerks offices across the state are already preparing for an influx of applicants for marriage licenses, the New York Times reported.
We are training our staff to be prepared for a very large number of people on the first day, said Michael McSweeney who oversees the New York City Marriage Bureau. We are going to be part of history.