New Mexico same-sex ruling may benefit tourism in state

Updated: 12/27/2013 8:46 AM | Created: 12/26/2013 6:11 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It’s been one week since the New Mexico State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in New Mexico. It means a lot for New Mexico’s same-sex couples, but as it turns out, it may be good for tourism too.

The ruling makes the state a friendlier place to have the wedding experience. Wedding businesses are already seeing a boost in tourists, and other businesses expect that to trickle down.

Ever since the state Supreme Court weighed in on same-sex marriage, Reverend Pearl Gabaldon’s phone has been ringing off the hook.

“I have a rash of people from out of state coming in. Texas, Arizona are my biggest ones - a few from Colorado. But Texas is by far my biggest,” Gabaldon said.

Those tourist couples will stay in New Mexico hotels, eat at New Mexico restaurants and visit New Mexico attractions.

“I think until all states do it, it's not only right, but it will be good for the New Mexico economy. Without a doubt. I have studied other states that have done this and their economies have improved tremendously because of it,” Gabaldon said.

Some local groups plan to advertise in states that don’t allow same-sex marriage, painting New Mexico as the perfect destination, and Hotel Albuquerque has already planned a wedding expo in May.

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