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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v10n31 (08/04/2011) » Marriage Equality Issue

Honeymoon Destinations

Gay-friendly getaways from Niagara Falls to Barcelona

In a perfect world anyone could celebrate their love by taking a trip anywhere. With the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State, that dream is one step closer to a reality. In the meantime, there are certain honeymoon destinations that are sure to welcome all couples with open arms.

For a taste of city adventure, try Barcelona, which is the second largest city in Spain. It is filled with historical buildings and monuments, museums that cover different styles and eras, 68 parks, and beaches. For an emphasis on the beach honeymoon, visit Sitges, a small town that boasts 17 beaches and is only 45 minutes from the city. There are a variety of visitors during the daytime and the nightlife is very gay-friendly. If you and your spouse are looking for something more European, there are a number of nudist beaches in the area. The main gay beach in Sitges is Platja de la Bassa Rodona, which is located at the very center of Sitges’ beaches. A scenic, palm-tree-lined promenade runs down the beachfront. Behind the promenade are rows of restaurants and bars with world-class seafood. After the sun sets, enjoy burlesque-style drag shows, boutiques, and gay bars and dance clubs.

Secular Wedding Venues

Aurora Inn (391 Main Street, Aurora. 315-364-8885,

Avanti Mansion (4409 South Park Avenue, Blasdell. 822-6200,

The Botanical Gardens (2655 South Park Avenue. 827-1584,

Erie Basin Marina (

Hearthstone Manor (333 Dick Road, Depew. 684-8850,

The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, Porter Hall (453 Porter Avenue.

The Mansion on Delaware (414 Delaware Avenue. 886-3300,

The Palms (7740 Transit Road, Williamsville. 626-0800,

Samuel’s Grand Manor (8750 Main Street, Williamsville. 634-8425,

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site (641 Delaware Avenue. 884-0095,


Marrying someone for his or her money isn’t a new trick. And when New York State politicians when they say they voted for marriage equality because they believe in equal rights, they left out another important reason. The state is, at least in part, marrying same-sex couples for their money.

This May, the Independent Democratic Conference released a report on the potential economic impact of letting same-sex couples marry. The report suggests that all those fabulous gay weddings will bring in truckloads of fabulous gay money.

The IDC believes that because of same-sex marriages during the next three years:

• Over $310 million in revenue will come from increased tourism, license fees, and sales and hotel taxes;

• Weddings and tourism alone could be responsible for over $280 million;

• The state will get over $80 million in public assistance program savings as a result of more couples’ income and assets being counted together and fewer people therefore qualifying as eligible for state money;

• Around 66,000 same-sex couples could marry, and the IDC predicts that about 21,309 couples will marry;

• A nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage would create a $1 billion positive economic impact.

ian carlino

For less tourism and more tours, try historic Boston. The first state in the US to recognize same-sex marriage is home to museums, the Boston Common (the country’s first park), and Provincetown, a historically gay vacation destination that can be reached via ferry from Boston. Provincetown (known as P-Town) is one of the most celebrated arts centers in America. Visit Atlantic House, a legendary gay bar, enjoy town theme weeks, live comedy and music shows, four-wheel drive dune tours, boat trips, old-fashioned schooners, and frequent arts and writing seminars.

For sun, sand, and sprawling beaches, visit Mexico, home to every type of resort under the sun. Take advantage of a romance package or a commitment ceremony, which is practiced in the region. Some spots that are especially gay-friendly are Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, San Miguel da Allende (an artsy colonial town north of Mexico City), Guadalajara (Mexico’s second-largest city), Veracruz (home to a fantastical carnaval), and Mexico City’s Zona Rosa district.

Famous honeymoon capital of the world, Niagara Falls, is a great place to get married and to relax in post-matrimonial bliss. Niagara USA offers a Rainbow Romance package that includes a night at The Barton Hill Hotel & Spa, champagne, and breakfast for two. Visitors can enjoy iconic attractions such as the Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, the Niagara wine trail, Rainbow helicopter tours, Old Fort Niagara, and Lockport Locks and the Erie Canal. The Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation has been welcoming the LGBT community with open arms and has created a guide to rainbow weddings at

Toronto, Montréal, and Quebéc City have huge LGBT scenes that reflect Canada’s pro-gay atmosphere. Toronto boasts over 7,000 restuants, thriving ethnic neighborhoods (Chinatown, Greek Town, Little Italy, etc.), the second-largest theater scene on the continent, the Church Wellesley Village gayborhood (where Queer as Folk was filmed), one of the largest June Pride Festivals, waterfront activities such as picnicking and biking, contemporary art galleries, and favorite place to tie the knot: The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. Montréal is a free-spirited and creative city filled with art galleries, fashion and specialty boutiques, more restaurants per capita than anywhere else in North America, multi-storied bars and clubs, and a legendary nightlife including cabaret-style drag shows. The Gay Village (known simply as the Village) is located along rue Ste-Catherine est between rue St-Hubert and rue Papineau where there are antique shops, bars, B&Bs, and clubs. Plan your honeymoon during a bustling festival for added excitement such as the Festival International da Jazz de Montréal, Just for Laughs, Divers/Cite (an LGBT festival with a focus on the performing arts), and Célébrations (a colorful Pride parade). Quebéc City is home to many festivals such as the Festival d’Eté de Québec, Carnaval de Quebec, and the Fete Arc-en-ciel, also known as the Rainbow Festival. The quaint rue St-Jean Street is full of bars, cafes, boutiques, and a thriving gay community. Stop by Le Drague (a cabaret and dance club), Fou-Bar (a gay-friendly music venue featuring live jazz, rock, folk, reggae, and tango nights), and La Bombe (an afterhours dance club with top-ranked DJs).

Also check out: Aruba, Australia (Sydney), California (San Francisco, San Diego), Florida (Orlando, Key West, Miami), Italy (Naples), Jamaica, and Thailand.

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