With Ruling, Niagara USA Considers Ways to Promote Same-Sex Marriage

4:36 PM, Jun 27, 2013   |    comments
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NIAGARA FALLS, NY - Efforts are already underway to further promote same-sex marriage in Niagara Falls, with Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act, still fresh in many minds.

The ruling is expected to lead to more same-sex marriages, because it allow gay and lesbian couples to get many federal benefits.

Niagara USA, based in Niagara Falls, is all about boosting tourism in the falls.

John Percy is the president and CEO of the agency. He already has plenty of ideas of how to get more same-sex couples hitched in the Honeymoon Capital.

"It's a very exciting time," Percy said, "today's passing and rulings by the Supreme Court, I think will inject and rejuvenate that interest."


To do this, Niagara USA says it's in the research phase of a new advertisement campaign strictly geared to same-sex couples. No decisions have been made, but the agency may start running the ads in their publications by the end of the summer.

Money to pay for the campaign would be paid for using casino revenue from the agreement struck between the Seneca Nation of Indians, the state, Niagara Falls and Salamanca.

Niagara USA says it expects to get $6.2 million from the deal.


"We will be able to maybe use some of that towards this marketplace and do some advertising that we haven't been able to do in the past," said Percy.

That would definitely help people like Shanie McCowen of Lewiston, who runs Rainbowbells.com.

"My business is to bring gay couples here and get married and have a honeymoon," she said.

McCowan says she's already getting calls from gay and lesbian couples who want to get hitched, as soon as possible.
She says she's getting interest in states like Ohio and Michigan, which don't recognize same-sex marriage.

"People are pretty spontaneous. The calls that I received today they're looking to come in July and August, so I think there's a little bit of an excitement in the air," McCowan said.

Niagara USA says it'll begin thinking as early as next week about new ways to get same-sex couples to the falls.


The agency says it expects to get its share of the casino revenue in a month.

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