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It's gold rush time in New Mexico destination cities like Santa Fe and Taos, as same-sex couples from Texas and Oklahoma flood the state to marry.
Since Santa Fe County legalized same-sex unions a year ago, more than half the licenses issues at the county courthouse have gone to gay couples — that equals 1,388 of 2,524, a whopping 55 percent, reports the Santa Fe New Mexican. A similar percentage, 48 percent, was issued to gay newlyweds in Taos County.
With no nearby states offering marriage equality, Texans (and to a smaller extent, Oklahomans) are flocking to marry and honeymoon in the picturesque, art-filled New Mexico capital. Businesses, from caterers to florists, are reaping the benefits. The owner of a wedding venue called Hacienda Dona Andrea said she hosted 17 same-sex weddings this past year, with many costing north of $40,000 each.
Texas's loss is New Mexico's gain, says Hacienda owner Anna Contreras.
“It’s been great for us,” she told the the New Mexican. “As long as Texas holds their line, we’ll be getting their business. We are thrilled. It’s so great to be able to welcome these couples and make them feel special.”