In December 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from getting marriage licenses; this makes it the seventeenth state (sans the District of Colombia) to enact marriage equality, either through legislation, court rulings, or voter referendums. Due to the recent overturning, officials in the state believe that there will be a jump in tourism from same-sex couples who can now get marriage licenses in the state.
“There are 38 million people who live in states that touch New Mexico, and there are tens of thousands of same-sex couples in those states,” the chairman of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce and innkeeper of La Posada de Taos in Taos, Brad Malone, told press. “Some of them are going to be coming to New Mexico to get married, and we expect 2014 to be a banner year.”
Malone added that he believed New Mexico could sell itself as an inexpensive alternative to places like Hawaii or Massachusetts; six couples have already booked rooms at his hotel for planned weddings in 2014. “And those are the ones who like to plan way ahead,” he said.
Malone said the town will run advertisements in major media markets to let same-sex couples know New Mexico now allows them to get married.
“We have a lot of gay- and lesbian-friendly bed and breakfasts so, yeah, I think there are business opportunities,” the owner of the Taos-based Bee’s Knees Development, Kelley Tredwin, told press.
Next month, Santa Fe’s Marriott Courtyard will host the state’s first “LGBT Wedding Expo,” targeting gay and lesbian couples making plans to tie the knot. The expo will feature thirty-five vendors selling food, photo packages and flowers.
Hotel Albuquerque has planned a similar expo for May.