New Mexico is working on making a name for itself as a destination for same-sex marriages.
As the 16th state, along with the District of Colombia, New Mexico is hoping to become a cheaper alternative to places like Hawaii and Massachusetts for couples looking to get married.
“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.”
New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional earlier this month. Though now competing to get attention from LGBT couples in states that don’t allow same-sex marriage, Malone is hopeful.
According to Malone, six couples have already booked rooms at his hotel for their 2014 wedding. “And those are the ones who like to plan way ahead,” he said.
The Marriott Courtyard in Santa Fe will be hosting the state’s first LGBT Wedding Expo in January to help couples find vendors, food and photo packages and flowers. Malone also said soon advertisements will be run to show same-sex couples that New Mexico now allows same-sex marriage.
“We have a lot of gay- and lesbian-friendly bed and breakfasts so, yeah, I think there are business opportunities,” said Kelley Tredwin, owner of the Taos-based Bee’s Knees Development & Communications.