For decades, Las Vegas was considered the marriage capital of the world – and rightfully so. But there always seemed to be something missing. Now, thanks to the dedicated efforts of groups like Lambda Legal, Freedom Nevada, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, the Stonewall Democrats of Southern Nevada and many, many more, everyone is finally free to experience wedding bliss – and honeymoon decadence – in Las Vegas (assuming you’re of legal age and relatively sober).
The law is on our side
Despite the state constitutional amendment passed in 2002, Nevada has never stopped working for marriage equality. What you really need to know is marriage is legal, Vegas is open and everyone is welcome! If you want more details: In May, 2013, the Nevada State Assembly passed a legislative measure to remove the amendment. But ultimately it was the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled, in “Sevcik v. Sandoval” to reverse lower court rulings, making the marriage ban unconstitutional and opening the doors for marriage equality in Nevada. Haters attempted to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the Court refused to hear it. Finally, despite some mild confusion surrounding Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s lifting of the stay on the lower court’s decision, same-sex marriages began, and will continue, in Nevada!
Vegas welcomes everyone
To commemorate and celebrate the occasion, Las Vegas has turned on the rainbow lights. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority even took out a full page ad in USA Today signaling support for marriage and inviting all couples to embrace the wedding capital of the world. And the timing is spectacular. The first same-sex marriages began in Las Vegas on Oct. 9, just two days before National Coming Out Day and a week before Spirit Day – when we focus on anti-bullying awareness – on the heels of Las Vegas Pride, weeks from Nevada Day and just over a month from Transgender Day of Remembrance. Between the social acceptance Las Vegas is putting forth, and the economic benefits of increasing marriage demographics, marriage equality is nothing but good news for Las Vegas – a fact not lost on the local chapels and hotels.
The whole city celebrates
Major properties on the Las Vegas Strip and throughout the city have joined in the celebration. Chapels at Caesars Palace, MGM Grand and many more began immediately offering same-sex marriage ceremonies. Many are even offering discounts. Rockhouse is dropping its $1,000 ceremony to $750 for all couples, every Caesars property is giving 15 percent off all same-sex vow renewals and ceremonies through March 1, 2015, and Liaison Nightclub – the only gay club in a Strip hotel – will give free admission on Wednesday nights to same-sex couples with marriage licenses (valid for 30 days after the issue date). And one Las Vegas staple, the classic and elegant Chapel of the Flowers, which has been gracing the Strip for decades, will be conducting free ceremonies on Sunday, Oct. 19, starting at 7 a.m. Heralded as the best wedding chapel in Las Vegas, Chapel of the Flowers is expecting 100 or more couples to participate, making the Chapel’s total donation to the cause and the community worth nearly $40,000.
Whether you’re coming to Vegas to marry your partner, or maybe just hoping to meet someone to marry down the road, this city has more than enough love to go around. From our chapels to our hotels, nightclubs and scenic experiences, Las Vegas is more than the marriage capital of the world – we’re also proud to be one of the gayest cities on the planet.