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Business Gains Slim from Gay Marriage

New York City Gay Pride Parade 2011, Greenwich Village, New York City - 4Vivienne GucwaSupporters of same-sex marriage during a parade last month. An anticipated spike in business for wedding planners, florists and others because of the new law has so far failed to materialize.

The legalization of same-sex marriage in New York meant many things to many people. It meant freedom to marry for lesbian and gay couples who had been waiting to do so in their home state. It meant a landmark civil rights victory for New York legislators. And to many in the wedding industry, it meant cash.

But they may have seen the dollar signs a bit too soon.

There were 659 marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples who wed on Sunday, the first day that the law was put into effect, but those numbers have not led to a bump in profits.

Wedding planner Jeannie Uyanik, executive director of C&G Weddings, thought that the expectations of business owners were overblown from the outset, making the lackluster increases seem even more disappointing.

“Even before the law was enacted, there were people who were going to get married no matter what. It didn’t matter if they had to go to Canada or Amsterdam or Massachusetts: where there’s a will there’s always been a way,” Mrs. Uyanik said. “This in and of itself is not going to change the wedding industry. There’s going to be that small blip — probably of just a year — but at that point its really going to normalize.”
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Images of the Pride Parade

Adrian Fussell, Vivienne Gucwa, Heather Holland, Susan Keyloun, Tim Schreier and Guney South — all members of The Local East Village Flickr Group — share their images of the weekend’s Gay Pride Parade and the celebrations surrounding the passage of the Marriage Equality Act.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

If you’d like a chance to see your best shots appear on The Local, join The Local East Village Flickr Group.

The Day | A Weekend of Pride

New York City Gay Pride Parade 2011, Greenwich Village, New York City - 26Vivienne Gucwa

Good morning, East Village.

We begin today with a reflection on the weekend, which many people spent celebrating the passage of same-sex marriage act late Friday and the Gay Pride Parade Sunday. You can find complete coverage in The Times, including a piece about the reaction a bit west of our neighborhood. And later this morning, we’ll present images of the parade and other celebrations in a slideshow of images shared by the members of The Local’s Flickr group.

In other neighborhood news, you might have to find a new place to buy your steaks. Many people were saddened Saturday to hear that the popular Jeffrey’s Meat Market was no longer in business on the Lower East Side. The Wall Street Journal reported that the meat market is believed to be one of the oldest in the neighborhood’s history; the former owner, Jeffrey Ruhalter, 55, represents the fourth generation of his family to work at the shop.

There’s also a new crime alert: the authorities are looking for “gentlemanly mugger” who robbed a 73-year-old woman near Union Square last week. DNAinfo reports that this mugger politely opened the door to Apple Bank on Wednesday night, watched the victim withdraw $200 then snatched it from her hand. The police said the suspect was wearing a camouflage hat, white tank top and jeans and a yellow rope as a belt.

Finally, the Rent Guidelines Board returns to Cooper Union’s Great Hall today to determine if, or by how much, they will raise rent prices in the East Village and throughout the city. The Local has reported on the rally and final public hearing session last week, and one tenant advocacy group will hold one more rally today. The Local will have a reporter at the meeting. Check back throughout the day for updates.

A Rally to Back Marriage Equality

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Meghan Keneally Council Speaker Christine Quinn at tonight’s rally.

New York politicos gathered at Cooper Union tonight to kick off the city’s annual Gay Pride celebration, which this year is dominated by the “will they or won’t they” speculation over the State Senate’s impending vote on the Marriage Equality bill.

Though the spectacle’s Broadway-style musical numbers were lighthearted, the real focus was upstate. At last count, 31 senators publicly support the bill, falling just one vote short of the 32 needed to ensure passage. Late Wednesday night, the state assembly passed the bill — and it was the Assembly’s fourth time doing so — leaving the Senate as the final stop before the bill becomes law.

“This is finally our moment,” said Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, who organized the event. “We know this is the moment again that New York can actually call itself the Empire State.”
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