US: Tampa prepares same-sex weddings ads ahead of legal deadline

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Tampa Bay is ready to promote itself as a gay wedding venue – before same-sex marriage is even legal in Florida.

A stay on a ruling down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage is currently set to expire on January 5, which would allow marriages to begin immediately.

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has previously refused to extend the stay – meaning now only the Supreme Court could step in to stop weddings.

In preparation for the deadline, the Tampa Bay tourist board has readied an ad campaign advertising to same-sex couples in other states, which says: “Our Treasures Are Yours, To Have And To Hold.

US: Tampa prepares same-sex weddings ads ahead of legal deadline

“Tampa Bay has been a GLBTA-friendly destination for years – and now that Florida has recognised marriage equality, Tampa Bay is a marriage destination for everyone.

“From the brick-lined streets of GaYBOR (a GLBTA-friendly collective of 200+ businesses located in hitoric Ybor City) to the unique venues throughout the area, you can conquer a fabulous wedding with ease.”

A statement said: “Visit Tampa Bay’s new ad campaign is aimed at those seeking same-sex marriages in the state, should the ban fall as expected Jan 5.

“The ad campaign will reach to the Northeast, the Middle Atlantic, Ohio and Texas, along with digital ads in Chicago and Dallas.”

Santiago Corrada of Visit Tampa Bay said: “We’ve had this campaign ready for a while.

“As the region has created domestic partnership registries and taken other steps to become more welcoming to same-sex couples, weddings and honeymoons are the logical next step.”

It is not the first time a state has prepared a campaign in advance – in October, Las Vegas launched a large-scale ad campaign the moment a ruling brought equal marriage to Nevada.