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New Mexico

N.M. expects tourism boost following same-sex marriage ruling

Thursday, December 26, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Towns and cities in New Mexico are expecting a jump in tourism from same-sex couples who now can get marriage licenses in the state following a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling this month.

Officials are planning a media blitz and gay and lesbian wedding expos in hopes of selling New Mexico as a wedding destination for couples who live in neighboring states.

“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,” said Brad Malone, chairman of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce and innkeeper of La Posada de Taos in Taos. “Some of them are going to be coming to New Mexico to get married, and we expect 2014 to be a banner year.”

From hotels to private chapels, businesses have begun offering packages to couples who want to make the state their wedding destination.

The New Mexico Supreme Court this month ruled it unconstitutional to bar same-sex couples from getting marriage licenses.

New Mexico joined 16 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing gay marriage either through legislation, court rulings or voter referendums in a national trend that has dramatically shifted in just a few years.

That means New Mexico will have to battle other states to gain the attention of same-sex couples who can’t marry in their home state.

But Malone said he believed New Mexico could sell itself as an inexpensive alternative to places like Hawaii or Massachusetts. He said six couples already have 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,” said Kelley Tred win, owner of the Taos-based Bee’s Knees Development & Communications.

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 35 vendors selling food, photo packages and flowers.

Meanwhile, Hotel Albuquerque has planned a similar expo for May.

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18 more reader comments:

  1. I live in Texa$$ and may move to New Mexico now!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:13pm
  2. of course ! :)

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:14pm
  3. as every state has seen so far

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:17pm
  4. The one thing that could make New Mexico even more fabulous than it already was!

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:19pm
  5. Everyone loves our money!

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:23pm
  6. So cool!

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:24pm
  7. Christine Herman
    Robert Knapp

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:38pm
  8. Along with an increase in business for every aspect of wedding preparation.

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:47pm
  9. I am happy to hear this news New Mexico is my Second home I live in Cali and knowing this makes things a whole lot better. I guess it time to start my new business in New Mexico now too

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:51pm
  10. Micah Alexis we really need to take a road trip from Austin to New Mexico. Too bad we can’t go for Spring Break!

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:54pm
  11. Don’t understand why anyone would travel to a country as intolerant as the USA is

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 6:58pm
  12. Not just couples who want to get married – couples who are already married, and individuals who want to feel safe in a new place.

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 7:09pm
  13. Did it suddenly become a nice state? Just kidding New Mexicans, I’m sure it’s lovely. It’s just that with my limited tourism dollars and the existence of Hawaii and Paris and actual Mexico… but I’ll add you to the list…

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 7:31pm
  14. gays are great for the economy and the heart.

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 7:52pm
  15. Well I’m sure our Gov. Isn’t happy about the ruling, though I do like her and think she has been a damn good Gov. (Susan Martinez)

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 7:58pm
  16. New Mexico is ugly

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 8:08pm
  17. My home state

    Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 8:19pm