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Since gay marriage became legal in Hawaii in December 2013, the state has been promoting itself as an ideal destination for same-sex couples to tie the knot.
“Hawaii is a community of diverse cultures and customs and is known as a place of mutual respect, common understanding and aloha for all,” said Hawaii Tourism Authority president Mike McCartney.The signing of the same-sex marriage law is just one of several ways that Hawaii is showing its support of LGBT couples.
Check out these five great incentives for travelers considering gay weddings in the Aloha State.
Gay-Friendly BeachesOahu’s gay hotspots are Diamond Head Lighthouse Beach and Queen’s Surf. On Hawaii Island, same-sex sunbathers sojourn on Wailea and Honokohau beaches. Little Beach on Maui draws a friendly mix of gay visitors and residents. Donkey Beach draws LGBT couples to Kauai’s eastern coast.www.gogayhawaii.com/gay-beach-hawaii
Gay NightlifeOahu has the most nightlife geared specifically to same-sex revelers. Honolulu bars and clubs like Bacchus, Fusion, Hula’s, In Between and Lojax draw the LGBT market. On Hawaii Island, gays party at Kailua-Kona’s Mask-querade Bar. A universal clientele is welcome at many bars and restaurants statewide, as listed in Pride Guide Hawaii.www.gogayhawaii.com
Pride Events Same-sex couples can time their nuptials with special events statewide. June brings the annual Honolulu Pride Parade and Celebration and Honolulu Rainbow Film Festival. The Hawaii Island Pride Festival takes place in Hilo in early July. Kauai’s Lamda Aloha Community presents various parties and celebrations year-round. www.honolulupride.orgwww.hglcf.orgwww.hawaiiislandpride.orgwww.lambdaaloha.com
TAG-Certified HotelsDozens of Hawaii hotels are TAG-approved, with non-discriminatory policies for staff and guests alike. Among the gay-friendly properties are members of the Aqua, Aston, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Outrigger and Starwood chains as well as independent hotels such as The Ilikai, Kahala Hotel & Resort and The Modern Honolulu.www.tagapproved.com
Wedding Support ServicesFrom photographers and florists to officiates and caterers, LGBT wedding professionals can be found on all of the islands. Several event planners specialize in coordinating same-sex Hawaii ceremonies from start to finish. Pride Guide Hawaii is a great resource for planning a gay wedding as well.www.gogayhawaii.com