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The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS if you will) has just smacked down the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the 1996 law which denies federal benefits to married same-sex couples is unconstitutional. That means the U.S. can now "immediately" extend some federal benefits to same-sex couples. Woot!
While this doesn't change any state laws regarding same sex marriage, it still is a major victory for gay rights. And what better way to celebrate than with a hotel stay? :) Here are four getaways to consider:
· RITZ-CARLTON, WASHINGTON DC: Celebrate the landmark decision in our nation's capitol at the Ritz-Carlton with their OUT in DC Pride Package. It includes: overnight deluxe room accommodations, a donation made in your honor to the Human Rights Campaign, two welcome cocktails, a Pride Weekend "Survival Kit", American breakfast for two, overnight valet parking, complimentary internet and access to Sports Club/LA fitness center connected to the hotel. Rates start at $354 a night and the package is available through August 31st.
Whether it's major hotel chains like Marriott or Hilton offering dedicated pride packages, a new booking site for on- (or off) -the-beaten path destinations, or even a "straight-friendly" hotel in NYC, the hotel industry is catering more and more these days to the lucrative gay travel market. But lucrative or not, we’re just happy to see a hotel (group) taking an inclusive stand.
Preferred has a dedicated website called “Preferred Pride”, with all listed hotels being either TAG-approved or a member of IGLTA, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association. Each property, like North Carolina's divine Old Edwards Inn (pictured above), also stands for equality in its employment policies and services, and supports the LGBT community.
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On Friday, we took a look at new gay-targeted travel flash site Out Escapes, which attempts to push gay travelers outside their comfort zones by recommending new and exotic destinations like the Atacama Desert and New Mexico's Sandia Park.
However, for those who like sticking to their tried and true vacation spots, both Marriott and Hilton are enticing LGBT travelers with simultaneous campaigns that are offering discounted rates as well as a wide variety of extras thrown in like cocktails, free breakfast and magazine subscriptions. So we're wondering: which of the two brands has the better Pride deal?
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For all you NYC hotel-lovers who have always dreamed of visiting Lords South Beach but haven't actually made it down, here's your chance. In two weeks, Miami's gayest hotel is temporarily migrating north to the Big Apple. Why? To set up a pop-up hotel for Pride 2012, of course!
The entire Lords South Beach entourage—including, yes, the trademark nine-foot polar bear in the lobby, but oh so much more—will be transplanted into the Hotel On Rivington from June 18-24 (yes, we know, a hotel within a hotel) to create the ultimate Pride hotel party.
And when they say party, we do tend to believe them. This is coming from one "ultra-gay" hotel who likes to entertain guests by hosting rounds of Twister and spin the bottle, and another hotel with its own tequila bar and who once hosted Michael Cera and the cast of Jersey Shore in a hot tub. All together.