More than 7,100 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the city since gay marriage became legal a year ago – and they’ll soon add one more to their ranks.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens) and his partner headed straight into the city clerk’s office after a Tuesday press conference touting the anniversary to get a marriage license for their own planned wedding on Saturday.
“I had always thought I would get married, but when I came out … I thought that I gave up that chance,” said Van Bramer, who will now become the second member of the City Council to wed a same-sex partner, after speaker Christine Quinn. “I didn’t think in my lifetime it would ever change.”
The pair met 13 years ago, and Hendrick popped the question once before as they were driving through Canada.
At the time, Van Bramer said no.
“I don’t want to get married in Canada,” he said. “I want to get married in Queens.”
As of July 16, officials said that 7,184 same-sex couples had received marriage licenses in the five boroughs since the law took effect on July 24, 2011.
Since not all couples specify their gender, city officials estimate that roughly 8,200 licenses have gone to same sex pairs – over 10% of all licenses issued.
Officials last week refused to release figures to the Daily News saying they were waiting to announce them at Tuesday’s press conference.
All of those festivities have bene a boon to the city, officials said, generating $259 million for the city’s economy and $16 million in taxes – with an estimated 200,000 guests traveling from outside the city.
“I hope people who think that marriage equality was somehow going to cause the end of the world see it has done quite the opposite. It has put people to work,” Quinn said. “But what you can’t quantify is just the joy that has happened in New York City.”
Quinn married her own longtime partner in May. Van Bramer said they didn’t joust over who would be the first Council member to tie the knot.
“She had long planned spring, and we have long planned summer, so it just worked out,” he said.
Source: NY Daily News