Put A Ring On Your Same- Sex Partner In One Of These Gay Friendly Destinations

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When it comes to social justice in The United States, it brings the cha-cha to mind. We advance one moment, backslide the next and then stay still before repeating. Up until recently, gay marriage was a hot- button issue, until SCOTUS made it the law of the land in 2015 as part of the Obergefell vs. Hodges ruling. This happened while Barack Obama was still president, though he admitted he wasn’t in favor of same-sex marriage initially. His predecessor, George W. Bush, called for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and wanted to see marriage legally defined as a contract between a man, a woman and the state.

The LGBT+ community and its allies celebrated this landmark decision, which came through at the tail end of Pride month. But the US was late to the party. Canada legalized gay marriage a full decade before. Across the ocean, The Netherlands was the first country to make gay marriage legal in 2001, followed by Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia and Austria to name a few.

U.S. News notes that as of December 2021, “31 countries across the globe have legalized same-sex marriages nationally or regionally through legislation or court decisions.” Others will certainly follow, as social attitudes evolve and shift.

Here are some destinations where you can celebrate your happily ever after with your same- sex partner.

The United States

Initially, the question of gay marriage was left up to each state.

The blue ones led the charge, including Massachusetts, New York and California. Just months after legalizing gay marriage, California passed Proposition 8 in 2008, making it illegal once more. 

You can keep your nuptials simple and get your license at the courts, or you can plan something grandiose with no expense spared. 

Tie the knot at a polo club, vineyard, beach or a castle. Some religious sites like churches and synagogues are also receptive.




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When it comes to natural beauty, “O Canada!” indeed!

Casa Loma in Toronto dates back to 1914, and its beauty is such that you forget you are in a bustling city.

Emerald Lake Lodge is ideal for mountain weddings. The lake is a smoky-jade color, which photographs beautifully.

Getting married in Canada during peak season can spike costs. According to Wedding Hero, “choosing a less expensive time of the year will help you keep your costs lower while still booking the venue and vendors that you want without too much trouble. You can find many cheap winter wedding venues such as intimate restaurants, elegant banquet halls, glamorous ballrooms, and many more.”

South Africa

South Africa is the only country in Africa where gay marriage is legal at this time.

Consider Cape Point with dramatic sea and mountain views.

The Boschendal Estate is one of the oldest wine estates in the Western Cape. It offers tasty farm- to- table catering options and is  less than an hour from the center of Cape Town.

If you want the safari experience, Brides recommends choosing a private reserve for a more intimate, but safe experience with the wildlife.

“You’ll be able to get much closer to the animals in a private reserve, making for some thrilling game drives!”

The Netherlands

According to Gay Destination Weddings, “same-sex marriage is legal in the Netherlands. However, at least one person in the couple must be a Dutch national or have residency.”

There are many venues in Amsterdam. As the city with so many canals, hiring a boat is a great option. The Rederij Prinsengracht company has a few wedding packages. 

Beyond the capital, there’s Montfoort Castle in Utrecht and the Keukenhof Castle with its fairytale gardens in Lisse.

Spain and Portugal

These neighboring countries have a friendly rivalry and offer spectacular settings for weddings.

First, Spain. One of you has to be Spanish, or have a certificate of residence in order to marry.

Casa Nova functions not just as a venue for your special day (it can accommodate 150 people) it can also be rented for a vacation.  It’s conveniently close to Barcelona.

Southern Andalucia offers mansions, castles and charming haciendas. If you get hitched in Granada, you might be able to see the Alhambra, a spectacular fortress built by the Moors.

For more of a party vibe, consider one of the Balearic islands. Ibiza is turn-up central.

As for Portugal? Lisbon is frozen in time with its winding alleyways, cobblestones and cable cars. But there’s nothing old-fashioned about its generally tolerant view of gay people.

If you love wine and seafood, the Algarve region is legendary. Moreover, the beaches and other natural features offer just the backdrop for some fabulous photos.