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Fall 2004 | Travel Queeries

Fall 2004 | Travel Queeries

FROM THE FALL 2004 ISSUE OF THE OUT TRAVELER

Q My girlfriend and I have been together for five years, but our families have never met. Considering that both sets of parents are mildly obsessed with blackjack, we thought it would be fun to plan a wacky Vegas wedding. Are there any wedding chapels in Sin City that specialize in same-sex ceremonies?
Kristen Lewis, Phoenix

A Though Nevada law bans recognition of same-sex nuptials, many if not most Vegas wedding chapels have said "I do" to marriage-minded queer couples. If you're looking to get hitched in high-kitsch style, check out the gay-owned Viva Las Vegas (800-574-4450). It offers a number of campy themes, including Fairy Tale, Gothic, Disco, and the ever-popular Elvis Blue Hawaii. Of course, the big casinos have also opened their doors to the gay marriage market. Luxor (888-777-0188), Paris (877-796-2096), and Mandalay Bay (877-632-7800), known locally as Mandalay Gay, are but a few of the many resorts that offer gay couples the same amenities provided at hetero ceremonies. The Las Vegas Hilton (888-732-7117) is both gay- and geek-friendly, offering Star Trek-themed weddings on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. If you're looking for something a little less "produced," Eternal Hope Ministry (888-638-4673) will beam an ordained minister (with champagne) up to your hotel suite, no matter where you're staying. Just stay away from the Little White Wedding Chapel, where Britney Spears and her beau famously exchanged vows in January only to have the marriage annulled two days later. When we asked if they performed same-sex ceremonies, the receptionist snapped, "No, we do not!" Pressed further, she replied, "It's just not our policy," and hung up.

Q Can you recommend a good gay-friendly hotel in Paris with rates under $150 per night?
Jay Shapland, via e-mail
A The City of Light has always been a beacon for gay travelers--Irishman Oscar Wilde and American Gertrude Stein among them. Indeed, Paris is teeming with gay-friendly hotels, so it might be wise to limit your search to the Marais, arguably the most interesting Parisian quartier and certainly the gayest. The seven simple yet comfortable rooms in the 17th century-built Hôtel Central Marais (011-33-1-4887-5608) are located above Le Central, the district's most entrenched gay bar. Rooms are priced around $100. Closer to the Pompidou Center and near Notre Dame, the recently renovated Hôtel Beaubourg (011-33-1-4221-3276), featuring a wine-cellar restaurant, charges about $150 per night.

Q I'm working on a cruise ship through the end of July, so I'm going to miss most U.S. gay pride celebrations. Where in the world can I participate in pride festivities come autumn?
J. Long, Miami
A While the vast majority of global gay pride celebrations are scheduled in June, you can fly your rainbow flag all through fall in Amsterdam (August 5-8), Copenhagen (August 14-15), Cardiff, Wales (August 29), Cornwall, Canada (September 3-5), Johannesburg (September 18-25), Montevideo, Uruguay (September 24), Bangkok, Thailand (November 5-7), and Palm Springs, Calif. (November 5-7).


Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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