December 2nd 2009 marked a major blow to the fight for equality as the NY State Senate voted down a bill that would have enabled same-sex couples to marry. Both sides expected the margin of victory to be small, which made the 38-24 majority against the bill even more shocking. The defeat shot a wave through NYC; within an hour, Facebook events had been created for a march for equal rights in Times Square.
December 2nd also marked the launch of the first LGBTQ-exclusive travel website, GetGayTravel.com. Scheduled to take place at Therapy, a staple in the NYC gay scene, and only several blocks from Times Square, the event was slated to begin at 6 PM, the same start time as the march. Rather than worry about how the march would affect the turnout at the launch party, Get Gay Travel president Ari Warshawsky enthusiastically encouraged party attendees to go to the march by posting the following message on the Get Gay Travel Facebook page: “In response to the defeat of the marriage equality bill in the NYS Senate today, a rally is being held on the steps of the TKTS booth in Times Square @6pm. Go to the rally in support of marriage equality and then come to Therapy for a drink on us!” The message worked as the space was nearly at capacity by the end of the event, filled with marchers still carrying their signs and wearing a modified version of the iconic “I Heart NY” shirts, featuring broken hearts.
Regarding this decision, Mr. Warshawsky stated, “We formed Get Gay Travel because we know that even in a state like NY, which is a relative Shangri-la of gay opportunities, bigotry, hatred and fear are still present on many levels. The drink ticket was just one small way we could give something back to those who stand up on behalf of us all.”
The motivation behind the site is exactly what makes Get Gay Travel stand out among other travel sites with LGBTQ options. Get Gay Travel aims to be more than just a site – their goal is to provide a service. Created by the team behind get services, the only LGBTQ chauffeur and concierge service in NYC, Get Gay Travel goes beyond the standard flight and hotel bookings by providing “Low Down” legal information, including same-sex marriage and parenting laws, to customers traveling to any of the 11 featured destinations.
Options currently include gay favorites such as Key West, San Francisco and Las Vegas, but Get Gay Travel plans to expand to other LGBTQ-friendly destinations, including some less obvious ones. Vice President Dave Lewis recently traveled to Ireland with his partner to celebrate their five-year anniversary, and was so impressed by how welcomed they both felt that he is now working to add Irish destinations to the site. “When staff members at several of the B&Bs, manors and stately castles we visited found out that we were celebrating our anniversary, they generously gifted us with an amenity, an amazing dinner, even a complimentary room upgrade. But more than these travel perks, it was heartwarming to see how we were accepted and welcomed as any other couple celebrating their love and time together. This is the travel experience I try to give each of my GGT clients,” Lewis remarked.
For more information, visit GetGayTravel.com or call (800) 711-6029.