Less than 24 hours after Maryland voters approved same-sex marriages, Visit Baltimore, the city’s tourism bureau, announced that Charm City is “ready to welcome happy couples for weddings, receptions and honeymoons," in a press release Wednesday.
Almost ready. Officially, same-sex couples have to wait until Jan. 1, 2013, to obtain a civil marriage license from the state.
With the passage of Question 6, the same-sex civil marriage referendum, Visit Baltimore added a new micro website — www.baltimore.org/lgbt-weddings — with information on everything same-sex couples need to know to get married in Baltimore, from how to obtain a state marriage license to unique wedding venues and vendors, as well as Baltimore’s TAG-approved (Travel Alternatives Group) accommodations.
Four Seasons, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Kimpton, Marriott, Radisson, Royal Sonesta and Starwood all receive plugs on the Visit Baltimore website as TAG-friendly accommodations, as do venues such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Walters Art Museum, the American Visionary Art Museum, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Geppi's Entertainment Museum and the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park.
Visit Baltimore even offers assistance with planning and pricing, helping with discounted room rates for wedding party members and out-of-town guests, for example. Earlier this year, Visit Baltimore launched a new 2012 LGBT Visitors Guide to Baltimore.
“We encourage the LGBT community to visit Baltimore to celebrate their commitments to one another,” said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of Visit Baltimore in a statement. “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.”