Category Archives: Gay Marriage
Some say Paris is the most romantic city in the world! Now, GAYS and LESBIANS can get married there too!
Belgium said Yes! – 2003
Canada said Yes! – 2005
Spain said Yes! – 2005
South Africa said Yes! – 2006
Norway said Yes! – 2008
Sweden said Yes! – 2009
Portugal said Yes! – 2010
Iceland said Yes! – 2010
Argentina said Yes! – 2010
Denmark said Yes! – 2012
Uruguay said Yes! – 2013
New Zealand said Yes! – 2013
TODAY, TUESDAY, APRIL 23th, 2013,
FRANCE SAID OUI OUI!!!
debate that has exposed deep conservatism in the nation’s heartland and
triggered huge protests that tapped into deep discontent with the
Legions of officers with water cannon braced outside the National
Assembly for violence that had not come by late evening. The protests
against the measure included thousands but were peaceful. Other
gatherings were simply celebrations.
But it was an issue that galvanized the country’s faltering right, which
had been decimated by infighting and their election loss to President
The measure passed easily in the Socialist-majority Assembly, 331-225,
just minutes after the president of the legislative body expelled a
disruptive protester in pink, the color adopted by French opponents of
gay marriage. read more.
NEWS for Columbus! They’re coming…
This Thursday night at 7pm, the anti-gay crew from the Family Research
Council and a controversial anti-gay Baptist church preacher
will meet at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State
University to oppose marriage equality.
But don’t worry: FREEDOM OHIO will be there too and will be joined by
my friend Elyzabeth Holford, the
new Executive Director of Equality Ohio. Together, Elyzabeth and I will
give these guys a debate they won’t soon forget.
want to join us in person, ABC-6 asks you to fill-out the form located
here. If you cannot join us
in person, you can watch the live broadcast or live webcast on WSYX Channel
6 or their website.
While we may not change the
minds of those on the stage on Thursday, it is clear to a majority of
Ohioans that this amendment is about family security, civil rights,
and the protection of religious freedom. The truth is, no house of worship
will be required to perform or recognize a wedding that conflicts with
their teachings and beliefs. At the same time, anti-gay houses of worship
and their faithful will not be permitted to stop a loving couple from
marrying; because marriage is and always will be a civil right.
WHO: FreedomOhio and Equality
WHAT: Marriage Town Hall
WHEN: 7-8 pm Thursday,
WHERE: The OSU Ohio Union, 1739 N High St. Columbus,
Paradise is a strong word, and I don’t use it lightly. But Maui, Hawaii
is truly a paradise in every way.
It has glorious warm weather all
year, with just enough of a breeze from the trade winds to keep you
feeling refreshed. The tropical greenery and colourful flowers are
spectacular, and there’s nothing better than the relaxing sound of the
surf crashing on the beach as you drift off to sleep every night.
Wouldn’t you want to get married in Paradise?!
A gay Oklahoma City couple is happy to be on Maui and among the
first couples to be joined in a civil union after a state law allowing
such unions went into effect last Sunday.
“We are proud to be part of
it,” said 40-year-old Rich Tucker, a mortgage company owner, shortly
before his Monday sunset ceremony with partner 37-year-old David Dobson,
“We wanted to have the ceremony somewhere tropical. It’s awesome to have accepting people that accept everyone. No one
is segregated,” Tucker said about Hawaii and the civil unions law.
Dobson added: “In Oklahoma, it’s still very much the Bible Belt.”
Industry insiders have said they expect that the law legalizing civil unions, which took effect Jan. 1, will lead to a boost in tourism among same-sex visitors. Hotel executives said they’re actively reaching out to the gay and lesbian community with promotions and packages aimed at couples who are eager to make their commitment official.
“We’ve had 10 ceremonies booked so far,” said Chuck Spence, owner of the Maui Sunseeker LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered) Resort in Kihei. “Already we’ve also seen an immediate boost in bookings, and not just because of civil unions, but because the law also opens up the perception by the gay and lesbian community that Hawaii is truly a welcoming state. We are aloha.”
Hawaii’s hard-fought civil unions law was bitterly opposed by conservative and Christian groups, who said the measure posed a threat to heterosexual marriage and traditional families.
Deacon Walter Yoshimitzu of the Honolulu Roman Catholic Diocese said marriage should be only between a man and a woman.
“Even with civil unions, we believe it is same-sex marriage by another name,” he said.
State Sen. Roz Baker, who represents West and South Maui and was a supporter of the civil unions bill, said she hoped the law would attract couples to Hawaii.
“Let’s face it, too, nowhere is the weather nicer, or are there as many beautiful places to visit year round, than in Hawaii,” she said, adding that “the wedding business has always been good to Maui.” Year round the weather is gorgeous!
But she and West Maui Rep. Angus McKelvey noted that the new civil unions license will be recognized only in Hawaii, so they anticipated it to attract a wave but not a tsunami of same-sex visitors.
“It’s not going to be a billion-dollar law,” McKelvey said.
More significant than its ability to attract visitors, he said, the law was important for gays and lesbians living in Hawaii, because it would give them the same rights as heterosexual couples.
“We still have a long way to go,” said spokesman Don Bentz for Equality Hawaii of Honolulu, a gay rights advocacy group. “If a couple, let’s say, comes from Florida (which doesn’t have gay marriage or civil unions), they have rights here but lose them after the plane ride.”
Frank and Kevin, who own a wedding service on Maui, have been performing ceremonies for heterosexual and gay couples, recognized or not, for many years. They’ve said they expect their numbers to go from nearly 40 ceremonies a year to more than 100.
Maui SunSeeker is going to provide group room discounts and gifts like champagne. Rich and David were the first guests to tie the knot!
He noted that they’re bringing friends – as others certainly will – and that the tourists will spend money at other Maui businesses.
“In regard to tourism, absolutely this will have a great impact. No question,” said Spence, whose hotel currently has 25 rooms and now plans to add more.
Applications and information about civil unions are available online at hawaii.gov/health.
Everybody wants a
piece of that pink dollar!
The city-state of Mexico City legalized
gay marriage in 2010 and remains the only municipality in Mexico
where such marriages are officially allowed.
Now Cancun and other resort areas on the Mexican Caribbean will have a new attraction for gay and lesbian couples from the US, Canada
and Europe, allowing them to legalize their unions thanks to a quirk in
the local civil code, activist Patricia Novelo.
Novelo said that in January the first same-sex group wedding will be
held in the resort area as part of local support for the human rights of
the gay community.
Gay travel groups in the state say they
are now preparing to market the state as a destination for gay
couples to marry and will promote a mass wedding of gay couples
sometime in January. (It was not clear whether the first 8 confirmed
couples would wed in separate ceremonies.)
The gay travel groups say that travel
agencies on average receive about 200 requests per month from gay
tourists wishing to marry in the Mexican Caribbean.
Scandinavian airline SAS plans to host the first-ever in-flight gay wedding in December, and is searching for a suitable couple to walk down the airplane aisle.
“It will be a very traditional wedding,” SAS spokesman Anders Lindstroem told AFP. “There will be wedding cake and dancing in the aisles.”
SAS has 100 gay couples in the running, with the winning entry will be chosen by an online vote . The ceremony itself would need to take place in Swedish airspace, where gay marriage is legal.
As part of SAS Airlines’ big new social media contest campaign titled “Love is in the Air” on December 6, the winning gay or lesbian European-based couple get flown via SAS from Stockholm to New York, and on the way they’ll take over an entire business class cabin and have their same-sex nuptials performing in-flight by the plane’s captain.
Once they land, the newlyweds will enjoy a glam U.S. honeymoon, staying two nights at one of NYC’s finer W Hotels and then jetting off to L.A. for three nights at the hip new Andaz West Hollywood hotel.
But Americans can get in on the wedding-tastic prize package , too! On December 7th, a flight will transport a winning U.S. based same-sex couple from New York City to Stockholm (in SAS Business Class), and then on to Kiruna way up in northern Sweden, where the pair will be wed at the stylish and otherworldly IceHotel. They’ll stay there for two swank nights, and then head down to Stockholm for three nights at the brilliant Hotel Skeppsholmen, smack dab in the center of the city. Plus, the newlyweds will receive a VIP package from Stockholm Visitors’ Board, full of perks.
Linstroem said SAS was playing catch-up to US airlines, who have spent years courting gay, lesbian and bisexuals in the United States with targeted marketing and sponsorship campaigns.
The wedding couple and their guests would have the entire business class section closed off, in part to avoid offending any other customers who might not approve of the mile-high matrimony.
“We don’t want to offend anyone. We hope we won’t offend anyone. It is the year 2010 after all,” Lindstroem said.
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled last week, that a law allowing same-sex marriages in Mexico City is constitutional, rejecting an appeal by federal prosecutors who argued it violated the charter’s guarantees to protect the family.
The justices’ 8-2 ruling handed a legal victory to hundreds of same-sex couples who have been married in Mexico’s capital since the landmark law took effect March 4. When approved last December , it was the first law in Latin America explicitly giving gay marriages the same status as heterosexual ones, including adoption.
NOW EVEN MORE NEWS! Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday THAT ALL 31 states MUST recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital, though its decision does not force those states to begin marrying gay couples in their territory.
In a 9-2 decision, the tribunal cited an article of the constitution requiring states to recognize legal contracts drawn up elsewhere.
Gay travel to Buenos Aires really won’t be affected by this, but YESTERDAY, Argentina’s Senate voted in favor of legalizing gay marriage by 33 votes to 27 with three abstentions, making Argentina the first country in Latin America to legalize same-sex marriage.
The bill, which grants same-sex couples all the rights, responsibilities and benefits of heterosexual marriage, including the right to jointly adopt, was debated in the Senate for around 14 hours. The legislation has become a flagship piece of legislation for President Cristina Fernandez’s center-left government though the debate in fact split both major political parties. The president is expected to sign the bill into law within the next few days.
But it’s really for residents and tourists won’t be able to tie the knot here.
Same-sex couples from other countries will need to live in Argentina before becoming eligible, and the necessary residency documents can take months to obtain.
This shows how far a predominantly Catholic country can come, from dictatorship to true democracy. TEXAS, well, that’s another story ! They are moving towards dictatorship!!
Nepal looks set to be the next country to legalize same-sex marriage as lawmakers are busy hammering out a new constitution that will grant a broad set of rights and protections for gay and lesbian couples.
But, for today, congratulations to Argentina!
Gay Travel to The Hawaiian Islands!
Located in the central Pacific Ocean, are the most remote chain of islands in the world. Three hundred sixty-five days of the year, the islands of Hawaii promise magic and romance. Pleasant tropical weather year round, a laid-back Aloha attitude, and natural beauty will inspire you to keep the romance going beyond your island time.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a land area of 729 square miles with a variety of sights and experiences. The views from atop 10,000-foot Mt. Haleakala (especially popular at sunrise and sunset) are well worth the winding drive past fields of protea and other exotic flowers. The long, winding road to the village of Hana is lined with waterfalls and lush tropical foliage. The quaint old towns of Lahaina and Wailuku are fun for exploring, shopping, and dining. During the winter months, the waters surrounding Maui are ideal for whale-watching.
The gay population is second only to that on Oahu. The biggest concentration of our community is in the Kihei area of South Maui, although we’re everywhere on the island!
Most resort destinations really have two gay communities, and Maui is no different. The local community tends to socialize in their own ‘family’ in private homes, informal groups or a weekly excursion to the beach. Although the local community is typically low-key, there are fundraisers and social events happening often, and visitors are always welcome.
The other gay group on Maui is made up of vacationing singles or couples, many of whom return to the island every year. The scene on Maui isn’t focused so much on high energy or heavy cruising but more on enjoying the incredible beauty found here.
Whichever group you identify with, you’ll find lots of opportunities to have fun, participate in activities and mix with the locals. Information on current local gay activities can be found online at Maui Gay Info and Pride Maui .
Maui Sunseeker is our favorite place to stay! It is the place on Maui where you can feel free to be yourself. Welcoming all, but catering primarily to the gay and lesbian traveler. It is the largest and most known gay resort. A beautiful 17-room gay-owned and operated resort hotel located on a secluded beach in Kihei. It is a boutique hotel for adults only. The suites are spacious, many with their own kitchens, there’s a clothing-optional rooftop area complete with hot tub and massage services, you get free Internet access, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.
Kihei is known for its beaches, so you’ll want to make at least one trek to the stupendous Big Beach and its neighbor, the gay- and clothing-optional-friendly Little Beach. Glassy turquoise waves, caramel-colored sand, and the best bodysurfing ever await you.
“Our location is convenient to Maui attractions such as Little Beach, the Iao Valley, Hana, Lahaina and the volcano, Haleakala. The hotel has long been a fixture in South Maui; always offering a welcoming home away from home for travelers. Acquired by the current owner in 2008, the Maui Sunseeker remains Gay owned and operated. Fostering an atmosphere of quiet elegance, acceptance and aloha, guests truly become a part of our Hawaiian ohana or family. The Wailana Inn became a part of Maui Sunseeker in September 2004. An extensive renovation of the building, guest rooms and gardens was quickly accomplished. The unification of the two diverse properties resulted in an exciting and new haven to lose all cares and feel free to be yourself. Maui Sunseeker welcomes the diversity that is our community.”
Maui Sunseeker has an amazing staff that will help you plan your stay. Their in-house concierge service will help you plan and book your activities on Maui. There is an endless list of possible activities they will coordinate for you! Everything from wine tours and cooking classes to spa tratements, and water and air activities. They will even help plan your special day,
if you’re looking to exchange vows and have a romantic honeymoon.
“As our resort is LGBT clientele and owned/operated, we wanted to find the best activity providers on the island that are either gay owned/operated or are supporters of the gay community. We have worked hard to be sure our guests feel as welcome and comfortable at any activity we refer them to, as they do at home at the Sunseeker. We promise the loving Aloha spirit of these providers will welcome all and promises a fabulous time. “
Once you stay at Maui Sunseeker, you’ll come back again and again! Everyone agrees!
“My partner and I have stayed at the Sunseeker about 6-8 times. We love the atmosphere and the hotel staff. Maui is great; but staying at the Sunseeker is the vacation.”
“I have stayed here for 15 years (half the property used to be the Wailana Inn), and it is perfect for my needs: gay friendly staff #1, comfortable rooms (I always stay in one with access to the garden lanai), hot tub on the roof, wi fi and MORE!”
“Friends recommended I stay at the Maui Sunseeker for my first trip there. Looking at prices on the internet, it was great value compared to more expensive hotel rooms and vacation rentals that have gone up a lot recently. Also, it was very easy to book online. When I arrived, the staff was very friendly and I felt very comfortable… “
Hawaii truly exudes romance and peacefullness. Beaches, sunsets, stargazing, come to Maui Sunseeker and see what you have been missing!
With its dramatic scenery, beautiful loch-side settings, gourmet food and dramatic venues, it is no wonder Scotland has become the romantic backdrop of choice for celebrities like Mark Owen, Madonna and Stella McCartney to celebrate their wedding day.
Love Scotland is Scotland’s only specialised Civil Partnership planner and they are giving couples the chance to win a luxury Civil Partnership ceremony, celebration and honeymoon in Scotland.
· Register your Civil Partnership on the historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh
· Relax away your pre-wedding jitters with a night at 94DR a 5 star,
contemporary boutique guest house in the heart of the city
· Complement your look and style with beautiful bouquets or buttonholes from Spiral ,
the award winning floristry design company
· Have all your memories preserved by one of Scotland’s most highly
regarded wedding photographers – Nadin Dunnigan
· Celebrate your wedding with a fabulous meal from Michelin star winning chef Paul Kitching
in his exclusive restaurant at 21212
· Start your honeymoon with a night at the exquisitely restored Georgian townhouse of 21212
· Escape to The Hideaway Experience and 2 nights in the Angus countryside,
where you can enjoy picnics in the great outdoors and relax in the hot tub under the stars!
Go to Love Scotland to win the whole package. Entering is easy, all you have to do is tell us a bit about yourselves and why you’d like to get married in Scotland. A panel of celebrity judges will select 5 couples to go through to the final; then it’s up to the voting public to decide who wins! Rally support from friends, family and the general public and get them voting for you to win a dream Civil Partnership in Scotland.
You can sign up for updates on the site, so that you get the news as it breaks. They also have a site called Purple Unions , a fantastic gay and lesbian wedding directory. You can find gay and lesbian wedding planners, photographers, event locations, honeymoon ideas, Officiants, jewelers, caterers – everything you could possibly need for your perfect day.
Their site also has a cool section called 7000 STRONG . Stories of couples at the forefront of the struggle for gay and lesbian marriage.
7,000 strong is a reference to the first 7,000+ gay & lesbian couples who received marriage licenses (and their supporters) in the United States in 2004, before Massachusetts became the first state to make gay marriage legal statewide.
Since then, close to 30,000 couples have married legally in Massachusetts, California, and now Connecticut..Here, some of them tell their individual stories !
Summertime is just around the corner!
And so is the busy season in PTOWN! And many June Brides and Brides and Grooms and Grooms will tie the knot is Massachusetts again this season.
Recognized by PlanetOut for five consecutive years as the #1 resort destination for the LGBT traveler, Provincetown has led the pack in same-sex weddings since Massachusetts became the first US state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.
From fabled sand dunes and seaside bonfires to world-class dining and shopping along Commercial Street, Provincetown offers boundless natural beauty coupled with a quaint and historic downtown, which was recently recognized as a “Dozen Distinctive Destination” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Since the 1920s when artists, writers, playwrights, poets and bohemians flocked to the beaches every summer, Provincetown has been known as a vibrant and diverse artists’ colony, as well as the birthplace of modern American theatre. A sampling of 20th-century artists who’ve worked and found inspiration in Provincetown: Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, Edward Hopper, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer and Michael Cunningham.
A “town of firsts,” Provincetown is the site of the Pilgrim’s first landing in the New World and the signing of the Mayflower Compact, which some consider to be the birth of democracy. Additionally, Massachusetts is the birthplace of marriage equality, as it was the first state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage.
Thanks to a process introduced in 2009, extended license hours (open 5 days/week and late every Friday during the summer) allow in-state and out-of-state couples to get married over the course of a long-weekend. A full explanation can PROVINCETOWN online.
From casual, intimate gatherings on the National Seashore (lit by bonfire) to a host of cottages, historic B&Bs, world-class restaurants and public parks, monuments and historical sites, Provincetown offers venues for every taste and budget.
Same-sex weddings up 20% from 2008 to 2009
Since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2004, there have been more than 2,500 same-sex weddings in Ptown (about 92% of all marriages) .
Stop by PTOWN Business Guild if you are planning a trip!
New Gay Travel Guide
Gay travel gets another boost in Europe!
Civil partnerships in the United Kingdom, granted under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, gives same-sex couples rights and responsibilities identical to civil marriage.
I don’t care what they call it – marriage, union, domestic partnership, whatever, as long as we get our rights! Why is the US taking so long to make these advancements? Do they realize how much money could be made off the gays? Plus, so many gay non-US residents would flock to places to Las Vegas and New York City to be wed!
In the UK, Civil partners are entitled to the same property rights as married opposite-sex couples, the same exemption as married couples on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits, and also the ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children,as well as responsibility for reasonable maintenance of one’s partner and their children, tenancy rights, full life insurance recognition, next-of-kin rights in hospitals, and others. There is a formal process for dissolving partnerships akin to divorce.
Over 40,000 partnerships have been registered since 2004. And now, for those who want the church wedding, that reality has happened in the UK. On March 2, Peers voted by 95 to 21 in favour of an amendment to the Equality Bill moved by Labour Peer Lord Alli. The UK Government resisted his amendment in January, saying it was “not a workable solution to this issue”. Now CHURCHES will be allowed, but not compelled, to register homosexual civil partnerships.
Critics fear the change in the law could open the way for litigation against churches that refuse to register such unions. And others oppose the move because it makes civil partnerships more like full homosexual ‘marriage’.
Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of the UK-based Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual equality organisation Stonewall, now the largest gay equality body in Europe responded to the vote saying: “We are absolutely delighted with this vote for religious freedom. It will be warmly welcomed by lesbian and gay people of faith.”
“This further step towards equality is a real victory for religious reason over those Church of England and Roman Catholic bishops who’ve tried to bully other denominations in recent weeks,” said Summerskill. Quakers and Liberal Jews were among those denominations which supported the amendment.
“We’ve argued throughout that this is an important matter of religious freedom. Ministers have known for some months that we intended to table this measure and we regret that the Government didn’t stand up to the bullying it faced from some churches on this issue. We’ll now work closely with ministers to ensure that we secure implementation of this further step towards equality. This vote is hugely important to those gay people of faith (and, as Lady Neuberger pointed out, to their Jewish mothers too!) who wish to celebrate their civil partnerships in their own place of worship.”
Overseas couples wishing to register their partnership in the UK, must reside in the country for seven days prior to application for the partnership, and wait a further fifteen days before the civil partnership may be formed.
New Gay Travel Guide
enacted Latin America’s first law recognizing gay marriage Tuesday and said it hopes to attract same-sex couples from around the world to wed.
The law, approved by city legislators on Dec. 21, was published in Mexico City’s official register Tuesday and will take effect in March. It will allow same-sex couples to adopt children and municipal officials say it will make Mexico’s capital a “vanguard city” — and attract extra tourism revenues.
“Mexico City will become a center, where (gay) people from all over the world will be able to come and have their wedding, and then spend their honeymoon here,” said Alejandro Rojas, the city tourism secretary.
“We are already in talks with some travel agencies that are planning to offer package tours that include flights, hotels, guides, and everything they need for the wedding, like banquets,” said Rojas. “We are going to become a city on a par with Venice or San Francisco” — the current leader in the gay travel market segment.
The annual economic impact of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers is about $70 billion in the United States alone, according to Community Marketing Inc., a tourism research company that specializes in gay and lesbian consumers.
Gay marriages of foreigners in Mexico City would presumably only be recognized by countries and states that also have legalized same-sex marriage. An exception is New York State, which doesn’t allow same-sex marriages but which recognizes those which were performed legally in other jurisdictions.
Mexico City’s law allows same-sex couples to adopt children, apply for bank loans together, inherit wealth and be included in the insurance policies of their spouse, rights they were denied under civil unions allowed in the city.
And of course, even as Mexico City officials celebrated enactment of the law, others vowed to stop the marriages from taking place.
Gay dating online and traveling both let you explore what you want, when you want. And, should you find someone or somewhere interesting, you can stay for as long as you want in order to enjoy getting all you can out of the experience.
Travelers speak their own language, and the gay men and lesbian women you find on gay dating sites online do too. If you’re thinking of signing up to an online gay dating site like www.pridedating.com let other singles know you’re an experienced traveler.
Finding the right gay or lesbian match by using your common experiences and leisure pursuits will make for a stronger bond between the two of you. Searching for a special homosexual partner means you’ve got to do a lot of roaming through personals though.
However; when you find a gay or lesbian partner who can relate to your interests and experiences, you’ll be well on your way to sharing a familiar and intimate relationship. Don’t give up, keep searching those personals and find your match today!
About the only dissimilarity between traveling and gay dating online would be that to find a match, you don’t have to leave your home. But, just like traveling, gay dating online is full of all the adventure and fun you’ve been searching for!
Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia and the world’s youngest republic. It is bordered to the north by the People’s Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. Nepal is a country of highly diverse and rich geography, culture, and religions. The mountainous north has eight of the world’s ten highest mountains, including the highest, Mount Everest.
Nepal’s quest to appeal to the gay and lesbian market continues with a new LGBT tour company. Nepal’s first and only openly-gay member of parliament and founder of the country’s gay rights movement, Sunil Babu Pant, has started the republic’s first travel agency for gay travelers and is encouraging gay couples to get married in Nepal.
The company is called Pink Mountain Travels and Toursand Pant is energetic about its offerings, “For gay couples who want a memorable wedding, we are offering to hold it at the Everest base camp,” Pant said. “Or it can be in Mustang (Nepal’s northernmost district that was once part of an ancient Tibetan kingdom).
“We are offering lavish bridal processions on elephant back and a glittering package for the bride that includes exotic bridal gowns as well as makeup.”
The 37-year-old Pant, who founded the Blue Diamond Society (BDS) in 2001 to start a gay rights movement whose growth has today taken Asia by surprise, says the new travel agency would help generate employment opportunities for gays and lesbians, who have skills but don’t get opportunities due to the bias still prevailing in society against them.
In November 2008, Nepal’s Supreme Court struck a huge blow for gay rights, asking the government to end all discrimination against the community and make new laws to meet their needs.
This includes formulating laws to allow same-sex marriages, making Nepal the only country in South Asia to give the official seal of approval to such unions.
READ MORE AT THAINDIAN
How do you feel about getting married on the snowy slopes of Mount Everest?
I don’t like being all bundled up – but I think it’s a great idea!
The Best Gay Travel Guide
Gay Marriage Moves Forward in Vermont! Plus, BEN and JERRY Rename Ice Cream to Celebrate Gay Marriage!
now becomes yet another progressive state which has risen above the political dogma and says to all Vermonters, welcome, you are all equal in our eyes when it comes to sharing your life with a loved one!
“I think we’re going to look back at this week as a moment when our entire country turned a corner,” said Jennifer C. Pizer, the national marriage project director for the advocacy group Lambda Legal. “Each time there’s an important step forward, it makes it easier for others to follow.”
The issue is also advancing in New Hampshire, where it has passed the state House and is awaiting action by the Senate, as well as in Maine and New Jersey, which are debating same-sex marriage legislation.
BEN AND JERRY, those right-on! US ice-cream makers, have renamed their Chubby Hubby ice cream Hubby Hubby . . . in celebration of the legalisation of gay marriage in the company’s home state of Vermont.
“At the core of Ben Jerry’s values, we believe that social justice can and should be something that every human being is entitled to,” said Walt Freese, CEO of Ben Jerry’s.
Watch Betty Degeneres talk about gay marriage with others…..
I DO! Getting There Des Moines is in the middle of the state of Iowa. It is less than a two hour drive from most parts of of Iowa. It is also 2 hours from Minneapolis, Omaha and Kansas City and about 5 hours from Chicago and St Louis. There are many direct flights into Des Moines from 19 cities including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Memphis, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, etc. Where to Stay When it comes to choosing a place to stay, Des Moines has the usual offerings like the Marriott, Embassy Suites and the Renaissance Savery. However, it also has several quaint bed and breakfasts for those of you who want something a little unique. The Butler House on Grand Avenue is probably the first place to look into. It is an charming and very elegant early 20th century home that was converted to a B&B in 1996. the owners live on the premises and offer genuine Midwestern hospitality. With a limited number of guest rooms advance booking is highly recommended. Another well-appointed B&B in the city is The Cottage on Kingman Ave. There are also several secular locations to hold gay ceremonies in Des Moines and depending on whether you want an outdoor or indoor event, there is a wide choice. Outdoor locales include gorgeous scenic spots in Madison County (known after its famous bridges- yes it is just a 15 minute drive from Des Moines!). Indoor locations for ceremonies also abound, but it is important to book early to get some of the choice ones. Top among these are The Salisbury House, The Temple of Performing Arts and the Renaissance Savery Hotel. For those of you who want a full-scale wedding with an evening sit-down reception and cost is not a consideration, I would recommend a morning ceremony at the Salisbury House and Gardens. It is an early 20th century architectural gem modeled after a 15th century English mansion. You have the option of holding an indoor ceremony or an outdoor one in the gardens behind the estate. An evening reception can be held in one of the ballrooms at the Renaissance Savery in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Holding the reception in a hotel ballroom offers your wilder guests the convenience of staggering to their room or being helped upstairs without worrying about having a designated driver. What To Do While in Town Des Moines has an active gay and lesbian community with a growing variety of clubs, organizations, activities and events – including a very lively annual Pride celebration – that reflects the diversity of the local community. The center of gay and lesbian life is the area around the Eastside of downtown in the East Village neighborhood. Here you will find Blazing Saddle, the campy neighborhood bar with their happy hours, Martini specials, boys night, girls night and even an occasional “Vegas Style” male revue. East Village also has an eclectic mix of hip restaurants, boutique stores and clubs. Eateries include a commendable sushi restaurant and a boisterous yet elegant piano bar. For the shopper, there are stores that sell original furniture designs like Sticks and local apparel lines like Smash, which was recently made famous by fellow Iowan, Ashton Kutcher. Other sites to take in while in Des Moines include the Iowa State Capitol, which towers over the city from a small hill, facing westward toward downtown. The capitol building is 275-foot tall and has a 23-karat gold leafed dome that glitters majestically in the setting sun. Gently cascading down to the west of the Capitol is a lush 10-acre garden that is meticulously maintained all year around. History buffs can go to the Iowa State historical Museum or the Living History Farms Museum, which tells the story of Midwestern culture and rural life in a 500-acre open-air museum with re-created frontier towns and dressed up actors playing pioneers. So what are you waiting for?
Des Moines, Iowa
is an open and welcoming destination for gay and lesbian travelers. Iowa’s capital city is a warm, friendly metro of about 0.5 million people including suburbs.
The large number of colleges and universities here give it a more liberal feel than many other towns the same size. It is also the insurance capital of the Midwest boasting more insurance firms than any other city in the nation except Hartford, CT. This has resulted in a diverse and young workforce that keeps the bars full and upscale restaurants open.
The Iowa Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on April 3, that same-sex marriages have equal protection under the Iowa constitution is further bolstering Des Moines’ diversity by offering a haven for gay travelers who want to plan a destination wedding and a very affordable honeymoon in Iowa’s lush countryside. Iowa does not have residency laws that would prevent out-of state couples from marrying there. Anyone from any other state can get legally married in Iowa after obtaining a marriage license from the County Recorder’s office.
Several local businesses have sprouted up to serve the gay marriage market – one of them is Lambda Weddings, a newly formed wedding and event planning group , which specializes in serving gay couples from other states.
Lambda Weddings offers easy wedding packages for out-of-state couples who don’t want to be bothered with planning an elaborate wedding or who just want to elope in secret. The base package includes a licensed minister, an elegant ceremony in a charming country setting, a personal wedding planner, chilled champagne, a complimentary cake, digital photos and of course the processing of the marriage license. Additional services such as airport pick-up, elaborate photo shoots, a sit-down reception or theme weddings can all be purchased for reasonable fees.
A budget conscious couple could have a memorable service and a reception with the rolling hills of Madison County as a backdrop and honeymoon in one of the bed & breakfasts for a very reasonable price. Scenic trails, riding stables and hearty country breakfasts will invigorate anyone jaded by city life and bring back a fresh glow to your face.
Several local churches are open and welcoming of gay couples- the Unitarian Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church have all opened their doors to conducting same-sex ceremonies- exemplifying a Midwestern “Live and Let Live” spirit.
The Downtown Farmers’ Market is a great way to spend the Sunday morning after the reception. Here you can walk away your hangover among hanging floral baskets, herbs and bedding plants and perennials. Market patrons can expect to see nearly 200 vendors, from 47 Iowa counties, with farm fresh products including Iowa raised pork, beef, lamb, poultry, fish, elk, baked breads, pies and cinnamon rolls. Shoppers can also find nuts, eggs, butter, cheese, wine, jams, jellies, beautiful cut flowers and a vast assortment of locally created arts, crafts, jewelry, rugs, and clothing. Spend a morning walking among flowers and fresh farm produce and then go over to the Gateway Market for brunch and you will begin to appreciate the joys of small town life in the Midwest.
If Virginia is for lovers, Iowa is for the those of us who are ready to say “I do! To have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, from this day forward… till death do us apart.”
Arranging exclusive destination gay weddings in Iowa!
Des Moines is in the middle of the state of Iowa. It is less than a two hour drive from most parts of of Iowa. It is also 2 hours from Minneapolis, Omaha and Kansas City and about 5 hours from Chicago and St Louis. There are many direct flights into Des Moines from 19 cities including Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Memphis, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, etc.
Where to Stay
When it comes to choosing a place to stay, Des Moines has the usual offerings like the Marriott, Embassy Suites and the Renaissance Savery. However, it also has several quaint bed and breakfasts for those of you who want something a little unique. The Butler House on Grand Avenue is probably the first place to look into. It is an charming and very elegant early 20th century home that was converted to a B&B in 1996. the owners live on the premises and offer genuine Midwestern hospitality. With a limited number of guest rooms advance booking is highly recommended. Another well-appointed B&B in the city is The Cottage on Kingman Ave.
There are also several secular locations to hold gay ceremonies in Des Moines and depending on whether you want an outdoor or indoor event, there is a wide choice. Outdoor locales include gorgeous scenic spots in Madison County (known after its famous bridges- yes it is just a 15 minute drive from Des Moines!).
Indoor locations for ceremonies also abound, but it is important to book early to get some of the choice ones. Top among these are The Salisbury House, The Temple of Performing Arts and the Renaissance Savery Hotel. For those of you who want a full-scale wedding with an evening sit-down reception and cost is not a consideration, I would recommend a morning ceremony at the Salisbury House and Gardens. It is an early 20th century architectural gem modeled after a 15th century English mansion. You have the option of holding an indoor ceremony or an outdoor one in the gardens behind the estate. An evening reception can be held in one of the ballrooms at the Renaissance Savery in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Holding the reception in a hotel ballroom offers your wilder guests the convenience of staggering to their room or being helped upstairs without worrying about having a designated driver.
What To Do While in Town
Des Moines has an active gay and lesbian community with a growing variety of clubs, organizations, activities and events – including a very lively annual Pride celebration – that reflects the diversity of the local community. The center of gay and lesbian life is the area around the Eastside of downtown in the East Village neighborhood. Here you will find Blazing Saddle, the campy neighborhood bar with their happy hours, Martini specials, boys night, girls night and even an occasional “Vegas Style” male revue. East Village also has an eclectic mix of hip restaurants, boutique stores and clubs. Eateries include a commendable sushi restaurant and a boisterous yet elegant piano bar. For the shopper, there are stores that sell original furniture designs like Sticks and local apparel lines like Smash, which was recently made famous by fellow Iowan, Ashton Kutcher.
Other sites to take in while in Des Moines include the Iowa State Capitol, which towers over the city from a small hill, facing westward toward downtown. The capitol building is 275-foot tall and has a 23-karat gold leafed dome that glitters majestically in the setting sun. Gently cascading down to the west of the Capitol is a lush 10-acre garden that is meticulously maintained all year around. History buffs can go to the Iowa State historical Museum or the Living History Farms Museum, which tells the story of Midwestern culture and rural life in a 500-acre open-air museum with re-created frontier towns and dressed up actors playing pioneers.
So what are you waiting for?
Maine’s governor signed a freshly passed bill Wednesday approving gay marriage, making it the fifth state to approve the practice and moving New England closer to allowing it throughout the region.
New Hampshire legislators were also poised to send a gay marriage bill to their governor, who hasn’t indicated whether he’ll sign it. If he does, Rhode Island would be the region’s sole holdout.
Maine Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat who hadn’t indicated how he would handle his state’s bill, quickly signed it.
“In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Baldacci said in a statement read in his office. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.”
The vote by the Maine Senate was 21-13, with one lawmaker absent. The bill authorizes marriage between any two people rather than between one man and one woman, as state law currently allows. The House had passed the bill Tuesday.
The gay marriage law is to take effect in mid-September but could be sidetracked before then. Opponents promise to challenge it through a public veto process that could suspend it while a statewide vote takes shape.
It’s just so silly in this country, this process takes so long and has to go state by state.
In other contries they just make it a law and move on with life!