Louisville Welcomes Marriage Tourism

Via the Louisville Courier-Dispatch:

On the heels of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in support of marriage equality, Louisville tourism officials are embarking on a marketing campaign encouraging LGBT couples to get married in Louisville. The Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau started the campaign earlier this week with a series of digital ads across social media promoting the slogan, “Say I Do in Lou.” It focuses on Louisville as a welcoming wedding destination, without regard to gender. The Louisville bureau formed a task force in March to see if it can attract tourism-related business involving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The group includes representatives of local attractions and accommodations as well as members of the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation, the Louisville Fairness Campaign and Louisville Metro Government.

More from Insider Louisville:

The campaign will culminate with an all-expenses paid weekend getaway (or staycation, should the winners be Louisvillians) and wedding for one lucky LGBT couple. The CVB is currently working to line up sponsors for the wedding. “We want to do this campaign to welcome LGBT couples that can now get married,” she says. “Now they can come to Louisville to do it.” The wedding festivities will take place the weekend of Sept. 18-20, with the ceremony on Sept. 19. The reception will be held at the inaugural Louisville Pride Festival, also Sept. 19, and the CVB is calling this, tongue-in-cheek, the “World’s Largest LGBT Wedding Reception.” Louisville advertising firm Red7e created the digital and social media ads, all of which were done in short order given it’s been just a few weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. “We wanted to follow on the heels of the excitement,” Ritchie says.

Say “I do” in Louisville. But not in Rowan County. Or Casey County.

  • Chucktech

    News Flash: Marriage equality (actually, equality in general) is GOOD for BUSINESS. Christian inanity and superstition and opprobrium? Not so much…

    • Gene

      true…but, worth noting..and, yes..a bit of pride and joy here. My straight best friend was one of the people ringing the bells of the Episcopal Cathedral in Louisville to celebrate the Obregefell rulling. Many churches in Louisville rang their bells to celebrate the ruling in fact. Not all Christians are the enemy after all.

      they rang them for half an hour. And, He said they rang them an extra minute for the hubby and me, and he called and told my (kind of ill that day) husband that, and. that. that meant a lot..
      I love Atlanta…but, I miss Louisville and KY (120 counties…2 with asswipes who are being..well..asswipes, and the vast vast majority of the state either happy, or just shrugging and saying “well it dont affect me and its the law now. whaterver”

      • David Walker

        One of many memorable moments as director of Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus happened when a graying couple made a point of talking to me after a Christmas concert. She did the talking at first and told me that the came to the concert to see what we — gay men — were like. She enjoyed the music, the variety, the sound of the chorus, and at some point during the concert they decided that we were really like everybody else. Her husband volunteered that they were Catholics and believed what they were told and decided to take the opportunity to attend the concert. We talked a bit more (our wonderful accompanist and president took over accepting audience comments) and the couple wound up being part of Section 5, the name given to volunteers and contributors. It was quite a moment.

      • peacfulseas inWA

        ” Not all Christians are the enemy after all.” While true until their voices are heard and they denounce their brethren I will treat all Sunday morning christains that I do not personally know as the enemy. If they fail to speak up they are as guilty as those who speak in opposition of equality.

        • MBear

          all christians put their faith in a book that says we need to die.

          I’m kind of hyperfocused on that bit: until they take that out, they are not now, nor ever, our friends

  • Queequeg

    Cool. We usually pass through Louisville on our annual trip from Chicago to Florida. Maybe we’ll make a stop there this year. We are already married however.

    • Gene

      look for B&Bs in old louisville…or, stay at the Sealbach (part of the Great Gatsby is set there…google the place…they dont build those anymore) or The Brown hotel…ditto…have fun! (dont lose to much on the horses 😉

      • Queequeg

        We used to stay near Louisville on our way to Asheville. It is a beautiful area. Unfortunately, on our way to Florida, we usually like to just keep moving, with a few overnights, but I will keep your suggestions in mind.

  • Bruno

    Rowan County and Casey County. Both are unfortunately full of Davis bigots.

  • Octavio

    What? No Universal Studios? No Disneyland (world) or Seaworld? No intimate beach cottages over tropical waters? No naked cabana boys? Nope. When I think of destination weddings Louisville doesn’t even make the list. I’d rather get hitched in Mexico City. La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la . . . .

    • Todd20036

      I think of naked cabana boys at Disneyworld.
      I really have issues, don’t I?

      • KCMC

        missed that ride altogether

      • Robincho

        Nah, your issues are fine. You’re just fuckin’ goofy, that’s all…

      • johncAtl

        Are you old enough to remember the naked boys at the Chesapeake House in DC? I have many fond memories of that club.

    • Gustav2

      Well, one of the 88 counties in Ohio doesn’t want you either!


      • Octavio

        A truck stop in Ohio. Yeah. That’s where I want to get married. Mystery chicken-fried steaks for everybody! Wahoo! 🙂

        • Gustav2

          But they will decorate the truck stop real purdy!

          • Octavio

            I’m dreaming of trucker bride grooms right now. Sigh. 🙂

          • Gustav2

            Those marriages are very short lived. The longest I know of is 20 minutes.

        • SilasMarner

          Mmmmm, mystery chicken-fried steaks! LOL

    • Gyeo

      Bah. To me Disneyland is right over there where all the kids with seemingly endless supply of money go every weekend.

    • MBear

      KY offers nothing of value to the discerning couple for a destination wedding.

      • John T

        Not even bourbon?

        • MBear

          You just want to make it difficult to make intentionally inflammatory tongue-in-cheek sarcastic blanket statements, don’t you

          • John T

            Sorry, didn’t mean to undermine your sarcasm, I just like bourbon. (Most of it is produced by a giant industrial distillery in Indiana, anyway)

          • johncAtl

            Hmmm… is that like salsa made in New York?

          • MBear

            I don’t understand the fascination. I’m a gin drinker. 🙂
            Gin makes a man mean – me: doubly so


      Kentucky Derby !!!

  • pj

    skipping kentucky until they straighten out their homophobic clerks. i want to go to a state where me and my dollars are welcome. ok?

    • another_steve

      The thinking progressive’s careful spending of her/his dollar bills shall set us all free.

      If you (generic “you”) are planning travel to Kentucky, for instance, drop the state’s tourist board an email telling them “no tourist dollars for your state until your state gets on board 100 percent with equality.”

      You’d be surprised.

      Money talks. 😉

    • Gene

      2 clerks, in two rural counties, with together not 1% of the population. Louisville is VERY GLBT welcoming, and Lexington, with its openly gay mayor and large GLBT community together make up more than half the state population. visit…you will enjoy it, and you will be made very welcome. (then send the receipt to the chamber of commerce in Rowan county with a note saying whey you did not bother to stop and spend a dime there…trust me, they are already fuming about it and the idiot clerk)
      PS there is still a clerk in Upstate New York who wont issue licenses….dont pass up NYC over that either! 🙂

      • Ninja0980

        Indeed, it’s always the rural counties that are a problem.

      • Jeffrey in St. Louis

        Louisville is a very gay-friendly town. And a pretty/friendly one too. I’d keep it on the list of places to visit (again).

      • pj

        then perhaps the gay mayor and a couple of busloads of gays from louisville should drive out to one of these clerks offices and give them a little gay heat. better yet both of them. its called house cleaning. im from chicago and when some bullshit like that goes on we take care of it. when i think of kentucky now i think of that bitch with her hand out telling that gay he dosent deserve to get married.

  • Gene

    I miss my old home in Louisville. The city had its progressive Jewish mayor who always wore the Kente cloth yamaka, GREAT theatre, some of the worlds largest and best maintained Olmstead Parks, Old Louisville, the worlds largest collection of blocks and blocks and blocks of Edwardian homes, beautifully preserved, great micro brews, the horse racing and derby parties and a “how much bourbon do you want with that?” attitude, and The Connection, which I must say had the best Drag shows I have EVER seen. and a thriving and appreciated gay community that was big enough to be, well..big, but small enough that gay men and lesbians still visited each others bars, and had some places that were just ‘guhlesbian”…sort of home to all…which sadly I have found in few other places. Its home to 1/3 of the people in KY (metro area) and if you are looking for a romantic gay friendly B&B, the old city (old Louisville) has scads of them. .
    Not at all surprised that the city is doing this. Kind of surprised they beat Lexington, the second largest city in the state. Lexingtons openly Gay mayor has tried to put out the “y’all come and visit” sigh out..a lot.

    • Gene

      and the Aegon tower….which…well…just google it (its just know to the locals as “the cock” )

    • SilasMarner

      I’ve only been to Louisville about a dozen times and I always loved it. I always said that if I wanted to furnish a home with fine antiques, Louisville area is where I would go!

  • Octavio

    I’m waiting for the invite to “Say I do in Kalamazoo!”

    • David Walker

      That may be exclusively lesbian. “I got a gal in Kalamazoo” and all.

  • Ninja0980

    The hubby and I might just have to pay Louisville a visit on our drive to Florida this year.

  • Dan

    Can we please stop giving this guy any attention. He is obviously suffering from a very low IQ as well as filled with hate. He is only doing it for attention so stop giving him any and maybe he will go away. I don’t understand your obsession at times with keeping us updated on what he is doing.

  • Sporkfighter

    I’m thinking that gay couples who wanted to travel to get married could have gone to Massachusetts any time in the last 10 or California in the last five years years and done so. The issue was to get married and have that marriage recognized at home.

    • Reality.Bites

      California has only had marriage for two years but your point still applies. Or 12 years in Niagara Falls

  • Rocketeer500

    Southern states, even Texas, will realize there is big money in marriage equality. All it’s going to take is a few progressive cities to get out the word.

    • Reality.Bites

      Most people I know either marry where they live, where they grew up or at a “destination”. I appreciate Washington state voting in marriage (for example) but I still wouldn’t drag friends and family there for a wedding if I could marry at home. Honeymoons are another matter, of course

  • popebuck1

    I’d be tempted – Louisville is a lovely city. That’s if I had a fella, anyway. (*sniff*)

  • Michael Rush

    people named ” Lou ” may not enjoy this new slogan .

    • Reality.Bites

      Well if you do in Lou I think the least you can do is marry him

    • MBear

      the problem is phonetically I think of “do it in the loo”

  • jimi008

    This is great! We need to stop dwelling so much on the negatives and celebrate the victories. We’ve come such a long way, let’s focus on that for a change.

  • DaveW

    I can’t imagine why anyone would go there. Maybe invited to someone’s box at the derby. I hope they aren’t wasting money on anything more than a regional campaign. Most people marry at home and then travel for honeymoon. This campaign makes no sense to me

  • MBear

    Why would anyone want to go somewhere that begrudgingly *may* give us our rights? Why not go somplace that has supported us for years?

    Fuck that.

    • jerome72

      MBear, Louisville and Lexington are not the rest of Kentucky. We have had a Fairness Ordinance for 15 years. Yes there are some hill-jacks a few hundred miles to the east but every place has a few turds.

      • MBear

        I have corn in my poop – wanna dig for it? 🙂

      • KQCA

        A good friend of mine is from Kentucky. Thanks for all “ya’ll” have done to move equal rights forward in your part of the country. I know a lot of you had to do it in small communities and in small numbers. I have a gay cousin living in one of the southern states, and it seems the greatest victories were not achieved at marches and protests, but at family holiday dinners, one frustrating conversation at at time. Every bit helps. Congratulations!

  • JCF

    Tourism to Louisville? Thanks, Gay Marriage.