ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — 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.