The month of June is LGBT Pride Month – the designated yearly period in America that celebrates the dignity and equality of the LGBT community. June was picked because that was when the 1969 Stonewall riots (considered a seminal moment that helped launch the fight for LGBT rights in the United States) took place.
This year’s edition is kind of an extra-special Pride Month. Why? Because June 26 marks the one-year anniversary of when the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision for Obergefell v. Hodges, the case in which state-level bans on same-sex marriages were ruled unconstitutional, which effectively legalized gay marriage across the country.
So to honor this month’s commemoration of such a momentous milestone, here are four fantastic destinations you can fly to in order to have the perfect LGBT destination weddings.
1. Maui, Hawaii
Although Massachusetts has the distinction of being the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003, Hawaii was an important battleground for marriage equality for over 20 years – starting with its first legal challenge in the courts in 1991 and leading to when state leaders legalizing gay marriage in 2013. Hence, an LGBT wedding in Hawaii is a great way to honor that history. Oh, and it’s also Hawaii! The island of Maui, with its gorgeous beaches and acclaimed hotels, is probably the state’s most popular choice for destination weddings. Marriage licenses in Hawaii don’t require any wait time or blood tests (although proof of age and single status are needed) and cost $65.
2. Montreal, Canada
In 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world (and the first outside Europe) to pass marriage equality. Two years before that, several different provinces had already approved same-sex marriage. So in the years before the marriage equality movement caught on in the U.S., thousands of couples flocked north of the border to get hitched. Sure, the marriages weren’t recognized in their home states, but it meant a lot to these couples. Thus, a Canadian wedding can have plenty of significance, and there’s no better place in Canada to host a wedding than Montreal. The city’s international feel, with culinary offerings of pretty much every kind, a renowned arts and culture scene, and breathtaking scenery make it a perfect place to say “I do.” Just be forewarned that marriages in Quebec (the province where Montreal is located) require a notice be posted 20 days before the wedding at the location the ceremony is set to take place AND at the local courthouse. Anotrher point to remember is that those getting married can’t change their surnames.
3. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Considered by some to be the “gay capital of South America,” Buenos Aires and Argentina have a long history of tolerance and equality. It’s also an awesome place to visit, where the currency exchange rate means a U.S. tourist can go a long way on a small budget, including paying for a wedding. Visitors wanting to tie the knot need to register between 29 and 14 working days before the day of the ceremony, bring two city residents as witnesses (along with other important documents), hire a translator (if they don’t speak Spanish), and take a blood test.
4. San Francisco, California
A city synonymous with LGBT rights and culture, San Francisco is a perfect destination for an LGBT wedding. It’s also probably the priciest place to host a wedding, but with plenty of catering options, venues, hotels, and entertainment to choose from (if you’re willing to pay for them), you can be rest assured of an awesome wedding in the Golden Gate city. U.S. citizenship or city residency are not required and marriage licenses (which run about $105) are good for 90 days after being issued. Couples will also need an authorized person by the state to perform the ceremony.
RELATED: When in San Francisco, don’t forget to check out these important places from the life of gay rights icon Harvey Milk!
Think we missed a prime potential destination for an LGBT wedding? Let us know in the comments section below!