Preferred Pride hotel program caters to LGBT travelers

preferred pride hotelsNearly 100 preferred hotel group members have joined together to create Preferred Pride, a network of independently owned and operated hotels that cater to the needs of the LGBT community. In addition to being “gay welcoming”, these hotels offer equal opportunity employment and are active in their efforts to support the LGBT community.

Certain requirements exist for hotels to be able to join Preferred Pride. Hotels must be either TAG Approved (Community Marketing’s Travel Alternative Group) or be a member of IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association).

The Preferred Pride program was created in order to bring together a diverse group of hotels from around the world who are committed to the LGBT community, as well as a way to learn more about what this community needs in order to have a more enjoyable travel experience.

Lesbian couple sues hotel after being denied double room

lesbianA lesbian couple is suing a hotel in England after being refused a double room.

Rebecca Nash and Hope Stubbings say they tried to check into the Brunswick Square Hotel in Brighton but were refused a room because the hotel only gives rooms to couples.

This is surprising for a number of reasons. First, it’s illegal in the UK for hotels to refuse rooms to gay and lesbian couples. Second, Brighton is England’s most popular gay and lesbian seaside town and surely the Brunswick Square Hotel has had to deal with gay guests before. And third, a court fined a bed and breakfast for refusing a room to a gay couple earlier this year.

In the earlier case, the hotel owners were defiant, saying homosexuality was against their Christian principles. In the Brighton case, it’s a matter of “he said, she said.” The manager says the couple hadn’t made a booking. The lesbian couple said the manager got angry and told them “no two boys, no two girls” in the rooms before kicking them out.

[Lesbian flag image courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

First gay museum in the U.S. opens in San Francisco

gay, GLBT, glbt, San FranciscoLess than a month after President Obama repealed the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, the U.S. has gotten its first gay museum. The GLBT History Museum is located in the Castro District of San Francisco. Run by the GLBT Historical Society, it features 1,600 sq. ft. of exhibition and activity space.

Yesterday was its grand opening and visitors got to see two exhibitions: Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating GLBT History and Great Collections of the GLBT Historical Society Archives.

The GLBT Historical Society has some history of its own. It was founded in 1985 and has one of the largest archives of its kind. Currently there is only one other gay museum in the world. The Schwules Museum in Berlin is the first museum dedicated exclusively to GLBT history. It had its first exhibition in the Berlin Museum in 1984 and moved to its own space in 1985.

[Photo courtesy GLBT Historical Society ]

Washington DC to become gay marriage destination

A new bill passed by the Washington, D.C. city council is already getting the hotel community excited over the possibilities. When Mayor Adrian Fenty signs it into law, gay marriage will be legal in our nation’s capital. For the hotel industry, that means a larger market from which to draw wedding clients and pump up some revenue in what has been a dismal market for the travel and hospitality industry.

It looks like March is the earliest the law could take effect. Even though it’s still a few months away, that isn’t nearly enough time to plan a wedding! But, the deals are nonetheless starting to pop up. The Affinia Liaison Capitol Hill is celebrating by extending its Pride Package rates for a year, to December 31, 2010. The rates start at $199 a night and include daily breakfast for two at Art and Soul restaurant and champagne cocktails for two from ArtBar. And, for each package booked, the hotel is going to donate $10 to White Knot for Equality, a non-profit that’s working for equal rights for the gay and lesbian community.

Remember to use the code PRIDE when you book your room!

[Photo by Keshet: GLBT inclusion in the Jewish Community]

Get out and go: Events around the world (October 15-18)

Happy Hump Day, Gadling’ers! It’s time to look at the festivals and events happening around the world, and this week has a particularly international selection of happenings. If you’re close and have time, then you have no excuse to get out and go!

  • Islamabad – The Hot Air Ballooning Competition in Pakistan begins this Thursday, October 15 and ends on the 18th.
  • MalawiLake of Stars: This special music festival takes place on the shores of Lake Malawi. The festival begins on Thursday, October 15 and lasts through the 18th.
  • New ZealandWanakafest 2009: The Wanakafest, a fun festival that includes urban downhill biking, bike back flips, snowboard rail jam, music, waterfront events, a fashion show, a food and wine fair and a street parade among other things begins this Thursday, October 15 and ends on the 18th.
  • PittsburghInternational Gay and Lesbian Film Festival: Pittsburgh’s an annual celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered writers, directors, actors and their work begins this Friday, October 16, and continues until October 25th.
  • Delhi – Diwalli, the Festival of Lights, will be held this Saturday, October 17. It is a colorful celebration of the victory of the good within people over evil. Traditionally people give gifts to family, friends and employees, making Delhi a bustling marketplace.
  • Shanghai – The 10th Annual China Shanghai International Arts Festival begins this Sunday, October 18 and runs until the 23rd. The performing arts fair, a major sector of the festival, is the largest and most effective performing arts market of its kind in China.
  • Sao PaoloGrande Premio do Brasil: Brazil’s featured Formula 1 car race will be held this Sunday, October 18 at 2 p.m.

If you make it to one of these events, let us know how it was, or if you know of an even that’s coming up, please let us here at Gadling know and we’ll be sure to include it in the next “Get out and go” round-up.

‘Til next week, have a great weekend — the first of October!