June is here soon, a traditional month for marriage, which makes me think about all things white (do not say a word, people with glass houses and all that). Yes, yes, I know, why would we want to follow any traditional idioms from our straight counterparts, you say? Ultimately for me, it’s because spring is about rebirth/renewal and I love the time of year when florals are freshest and travel is often easiest. Finally, I just wanted to-I am now channeling my inner bridezilla- so deal or it won’t be just a bouquet I’ll throw!
At any rate, the idea of marriage was not even in the realm of possibilities not so long ago. Thankfully we now have options, real options both spiritually and legally-with many more to come soon. So I began to wonder about the reality of it and where we can go to do the actual deed. Who is the most welcoming around the world? Where are the most romantic of destinations?
Spain has allowed gay marriage since 2005. As with a traditional union, one of the same-sex
partners must be a Spanish resident, having been legally in Spain for at least two years and registered with the municipality. A civil marriage in Spain allows homosexual couples the same legal, adoption and inheritance rights as heterosexual couples. Perfect, now you just have to fall in love with a Spaniard-I am so working on that. I have studied Gaudi ad nauseum and am a total architecture buff, so this is the place for me. His otherworldly, unfinished cathedral La Sagrada Familia is captivating beyond words and the city is steeped with many other architectural jewels, art and history. No better place could be found than the delightful Barcelona for your wedding, although a close second might be the beaches at Sitges. For help planning yours check out: weddingbarcelona.com
A Place to stay in Barcelona:
Well I guess it had to happen... it was inevitable, the first gay hotel "chain." They have three locations and Barcelona happens to be one of them. This Catalonia gem is centrally located in a restored 16th century building with 66 individually designed rooms, a restaurant, business center, a roof terrace, a gym, pool and Jacuzzi-pretty much everything you need!
Check them out at: axelhotels.com
Hotel Axel Barcelona
Calle Aribau, 33, 08011 Barcelona, España
Tel: +34 93 266 0562
Africa is about life in extremes. The vastness of the country is remarkable and its beauty unparalleled. There are dense tropical forests teeming with diversity, its famed rivers such as the beautiful Congo and the mysterious Nile, the great plateaus (the largest of these level areas being the Great Karoo), the height extremes between the 19,340 foot summit of mighty Kilimanjaro and the vast deserts of the Kalahari and Sahara (the latter being largest in the world), it is a place of mystery and romance-just ask Baroness Von Blixen. The country’s stance on marriage is also extreme, same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa (since 2006) and the constitution safeguards LGBT rights there. In places like southern Nigeria though, homosexuality is illegal and carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison. Sharia penal code (Islamic religious law), enacted in 12 states in northern Nigeria, subjects homosexuals to penalties as harsh as execution by stoning-so it is a place to be avoided. Stick to Cape Town in South Africa which has become one of the world’s most popular gay destinations with many supportive and wonderful options for your nuptials. Check out gaymarriagesabroad.com
A Place to stay in Cape Town:
The intimate Mannabay Boutique Hotel is in the center of Cape Town and offers seven uniquely designed suites for the ultimate in luxury. Intimate and private, with well-appointed common rooms and sophisticated extras that will make you never want to leave. Included in your stay are full breakfasts, daily high tea and a complimentary airport transfer. mannabay.com