California granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples for about five months in 2008, before voters passed Prop. 8 to ban them. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down Prop. 8, Californians are preparing for an influx of lesbian and gay weddings.
The Palm Springs Tourism Bureau was ready when the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. Within an hour of the high court handing down its decision Wednesday, the bureau launched a wedding web site featuring photographs of same-sex couples and spotlighting the desert city's gay and lesbian resorts.
"We just saw this as a great opportunity. LGBT people planning to get married need a location, and Palm Springs is a favorite destination," Hillary Angel, a bureau spokeswoman, said. "You can get married at Frank Sinatra's estate."
The nation's most populous state was a trailblazer the last time it opened the door to gay marriages five years ago. Back then, California was only the second state —after Massachusetts— to do so, a position it lost when voters slammed the door shut after only a few months by amending the state constitution to outlaw same-sex unions.