On Saturday at midnight, same-sex couples will officially be allowed to marry in New York, following passage of the marriage equality bill in the state last month. Now, New York tourism outlets are looking to capitalize on the gay dollar by providing gay-friendly marriage settings. One of these places is the fabulously tacky Niagara Falls, which has plans for a group wedding ceremony on Sunday and has scheduled its first marriage for midnight on Sunday.
A Niagara tourism blog detailed this weekend's event last week:
The event, which is aimed at highlighting the passage of the marriage equality act, is expected to be one of the first official LGBT group wedding ceremonies in New York State. This wedding ceremony, being held at Niagara Falls State Park, will reinvent Niagara USA as a premier marriage and honeymoon destination, as well as translate to a tremendous economic impact for the regions tourism industry.
"According to Empire State Development, New York State would garner upwards of $400 million in economic benefits over a three-year period due to the passage of the marriage equality act," said NTCC President and CEO John Percy. "Niagara Falls has long been considered a premier wedding and honeymoon destination throughout the world. Now, with the influx of a new demographic of romance tourists, Niagara USA will once again be viewed as the Honeymoon Capital, for all."
At midnight on Sunday, the same-sex couple being heralded as the first to marry in New York will marry on Luna Island, just at the foot of Niagara Falls. The women - Kitty Lambert and Cheryle Rudd - are Buffalo residents who have five children and 12 grandchildren.
In honor of marriage equality in NY, according to New Yorkers United for Marriage, the Falls will be lit that night with a rainbow spectrum, celebrating this huge step forward in the marriage movement.