Maryland has voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage, and couples can obtain a civil marriage license from the state beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
Visit Baltimore, the city's tourism bureau, provides free planning assistance to help make wedding planning easy, 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, which contains 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.
For more information on LGBT marriage licenses, wedding venues, accommodations and honeymoon suggestions, please visit www.baltimore.org/lgbt-weddings.