Baltimore Welcomes Same-Sex Marriage with Dedicated LGBT Microsite
BALTIMORE, MD - The ballots have been counted and the people have spoken - Maryland has upheld the legalization of same-sex marriage, and the city of Baltimore is ready to welcome happy couples for weddings, receptions and honeymoons. Couples can obtain a civil marriage license from the state beginning January 1, 2013.
Visit Baltimore, the city's tourism bureau, provides free planning assistance to help ease the stress of wedding planning, providing assistance in securing accommodations and group rates and suggestions for venues and vendors. With the legalization of same-sex marriage, Visit Baltimore has created a new microsite - www.baltimore.org/lgbt-weddings - containing everything same-sex couples need to know to get married in Baltimore, from practical information on how to obtain a marriage license to unique wedding venues and vendors, and information on Baltimore's TAG-approved accommodations.
"We encourage the LGBT community to visit Baltimore to celebrate their commitments to one another," says Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore. "As a city, we have long been proud to support the rights and equality of our visitors, and the legalization of same-sex marriage is another important step forward."
Visit Baltimore has been supporting the LGBT community through advertising and other initiatives such as its "Rainbow Round-Up" quarterly e-newsletter; an annual LGBT Visitors Guide to Baltimore in partnership with the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland; sponsorship of LGBT events like Pride; and TAG-approved accommodations, which enforce non-discriminatory policies and provide diversity and sensitivity training to employees. These initiatives are all guided by the bureau's LGBT advisory committee of local tourism and business partners.
The Maryland referendum (Question 6) asked voters in the state's general election on November 6 to vote "For" or "Against" the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in February 2012 and signed on March 1, 2012, by Governor Martin O'Malley to permit same-sex couples to marry beginning January 1, 2013.
Maryland and Maine became the first two states to pass same sex marriage via public vote with results of Washington's vote still being counted. Maryland and Maine join six other states that offer same-sex marriage, including Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, plus the District of Columbia and two Native American tribal jurisdictions, the Coquille Tribe of Oregon and the Suquamish tribe of Washington.
For more information on LGBT marriage licenses, wedding venues, accommodations and honeymoon suggestions, visit www.baltimore.org/lgbt-weddings.
Visit Baltimore - the official sales and marketing organization for Baltimore that generates economic benefits for stakeholders through the attraction of convention, group and leisure visitors. For more information, visit www.baltimore.org.