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Okay, so you’ve probably heard by now that Proposition 8 passed last night in California, banning same-sex marriage in the state.

It’s a major setback, especially coming in a place with as liberal a reputation as Cali.

So what’s a pair of lovelorn guys or gals to do?

Well, to start, I suppose there are some further legal steps to be taken. I’m none too well-versed in Californian constitution law, but I’m sure the state’s gay rights movement doesn’t plan to give up the fight.

And beyond that? Well, a destination wedding, of course!

Cape Town, South Africa

South Africa legalized same-sex marriage in November 2006. So where better to head for an overseas wedding than the country’s capital of culture, beautiful Cape Town?

While you’re in town, be sure to stop by Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent years imprisoned under the apartheid government, and contemplate the hope and possibility that this spot and its story represent.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

This Dutch city was the first place in the world to see a legal same-sex marriage take place, way back in April 2001.

Looking to party on your honeymoon? You can certainly do that here. Art? History? Architecture? Check, check and check. Amsterdam has it all.

Vancouver, Canada

Canada’s hippest West Coast city was already a popular destination for gay travelers long before same-sex marriage was legalized across Canada in June 2005.

This is your spot for an active honeymoon: whether you like to ski, snowboard, surf, hike, or hit the open water, Van City has something for you.

Ibiza, Spain

Spain surprised many people when it legalized same-sex marriage in 2005. After all, this Mediterranean country was a one-time Catholic heartland.

Well, the Pope may not have been thrilled, but gay-destination-wedding-planners everywhere should be: Spain is one of the only warm-weather countries to have made the move! Head to Ibiza, one of the world’s greatest party islands, for unbridled hedonism on the beach.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Don’t want the hassle of an overseas wedding? Head to this classic Massachusetts seaside spot for saltwater taffy and summer nuptial fun.

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage, in 2004. More importantly, the state made it legal for out-of-staters to join in just this past summer, in July 2008.

Bergen, Norway

Beginning in 2009, same-sex marriage will be legal in Norway. Celebrate the change – and your wedding! – by heading to hauntingly beautiful, fjord-bound Bergen. Pack warm clothes.

Cape Town photo by DanieVDM (Creative Commons)
Amsterdam photo by huees (Creative Commons)
Vancouver photo by jonrawlinson (Creative Commons)
Ibiza photo by ST33VO (Creative Commons)
Cape Cod photo by roytsaplinjr (Creative Commons)
Bergen photo by mozzercork (Creative Commons)

World Events


About The Author

Eva Holland

Eva Holland is a freelance writer, Senior Editor of World Hum and a longtime contributor to the Matador community. She lives in Canada’s Yukon Territory and blogs about Alaska and Yukon travel at Travelers North.

  • Benjamin10

    Not a bad list of places to tie the knot. Cali would have been nice. It will be back on the ballot in 2010. Check out the Cali breakdown in voting on Prop 8 by county. Must be something in the ocean air that opens the mind. ” target=”_blank”>…

  • Hal

    Thanks for addressing this issue, Eva. It seems to be the sole black lining in the otherwise silver cloud of last night's election. But I love how you've put a positive spin on it!

  • Valerie

    Thanks for this post Eva. As disheartening as the Prop 8 results were, I'm still hopeful that they will be overturned one day soon. The last time we voted on that issue (in 2000), support for a ban was much higher, so we're headed in the right direction.



  • Amanda is a traveling photographer

    I did 4 same gender weddings during the time when CA decided to get with the times. Too bad that they revoked their decision on that ( and so frustrating for the couples planning to get married this year ).

  • Val

    Thanks for the list but not all these countries allow non-residents to marry there so an article that took that into consideration would have been good. As far as I know, you can only marry in Canada and Norway if you are not resident in the country.

  • Pingback: Eat, Pray, Love In Spain

  • Tian

    Why not Iceland?

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