Listen: TAOS — New Mexico's economy could get an unusual boost in the New Year, as same-sex couples are expected to flock to the state to tie the knot in the Land of Enchantment.
Brad Malone, chairman of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce, is among those predicting a wedding boom in 2014.
The state Supreme Court ruled last month that same-sex marriage is legal.
Malone cites a study that projected weddings involving same-sex couples, within New Mexico alone, would generate $20 million just this year.
"If we do some promotion in these adjoining states, then the economic impact's going to be substantially greater than $20 million in 2014," he maintains.
Malone points out there are thousands of couples in Arizona, Texas and other states where same-sex marriage is still banned, who will likely look to New Mexico as a good place to get married.
He says the state of New York gained several hundred million dollars in tax revenue after its decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
Malone says couples are getting married for love and partnership - but also for tax benefits and other perks linked to marriage.
"There's over a thousand marriage benefits conferred in federal law and code," he says, "so it's well worth their effort to come on over."
Malone, who also operates a bed and breakfast, says he's getting calls from out-of-state couples that need to get married to ensure they keep their health insurance for reasons related to the Affordable Care Act.
He says some businesses are no longer providing health coverage to people in domestic partnerships as a result of the ACA.
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