Las Vegas Mayor Officiates Frank Marino Wedding in Pride Month Celebration
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman made history this week by being the first city mayor to officiate an LGBTQ+ wedding ceremony. The historic event comes in conjunction with the LGBTQ+ community designating June as its Pride Month.
On Tuesday, Goodman performed the wedding of longtime Las Vegas Strip headliner Frank Marino’s exchanging of vows with his partner Shannon “Alex” Schechter. The wedding took place at The Little Vegas Chapel’s Imperial Chapel in downtown Las Vegas.
Love is the greatest treasure of all.
— Carolyn G. Goodman (@mayoroflasvegas) June 15, 2022
Marino was a Strip staple for more than 30 years until his show “Divas Las Vegas” went dark in June 2018. Caesars Entertainment severed ties with the Sin City icon after details emerged that Marino was pocketing money from his merchandise sales that were supposed to go to charity. Marino told fans that sales of his post-show merch benefited the Make-A-Wish organization, which fulfills the wishes of children with critical illnesses.
Marino later admitted that because of his “own negligence” he failed to donate to the nonprofit as he pledged. He subsequently made good on his promise by giving “many times over” what was owed.
Why June is Pride Month
The LGBTQ+’s annual June Pride Month honors the Stonewall Uprising that became a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States.
During the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, New York City Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. Police forcibly removed people from the bar after law enforcement claimed they received reports of same-sex solicitation and “disorderly” gatherings of suspected homosexuals.
Armed with a warrant, police raided the Stonewall Inn and confiscated bootlegged alcohol. Thirteen people were arrested for violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute. Suspected cross-dressers were taken into bathrooms where their biological sexes were inspected.
The raid resulted in six days of rioting among LGBTQ+ protestors. Veterans of the protests prefer the term “rebellion” or “uprising” instead of “riot.”
“The Stonewall Uprising was a series of events between police and LGBTQ+ protesters that stretched over six days. It was not the first time police raided a gay bar, and it was not the first time LGBTQ+ people fought back, but the events that would unfold over the next six days would fundamentally change the discourse surrounding LGBTQ+ activism in the United States. While Stonewall became well known due to the media coverage and the subsequent annual Pride traditions, it was a culmination of years of LGBTQ+ activism. Historians have noted that the shift in activism, if Stonewall truly represented one at all, was a shift primarily for white cisgender people, as people of color and gender non-conforming people never truly had the benefit of concealing their marginalized identities.” — The Library of Congress
Pride Wedding Destination
Las Vegas is the de facto wedding capital of the US, as the town’s many chapels and in-casino wedding venues facilitate thousands of ceremonies a year. Clark County in February celebrated its five millionth wedding license being issued in its history that dates back to 1909.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which promotes Las Vegas as a destination for business and leisure, rolled out a campaign titled “Forever Happens Here” to commemorate the millions of couples who have said “I do” in Southern Nevada.
Las Vegas is welcoming of couples of all sexual orientations and preferences. And for LGBTQ+ couples exchanging their vows through the end of June’s Pride Month, there are plenty of happenings to attend.
This weekend, Las Vegas PRIDE Magazine will host its “A Beautiful Tomorrow Celebration” at The Cosmopolitan. $20 tickets include an open bar, pool deck access, and an array of activities.
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