The Canadian Tourism Commission has launched a new gay and lesbian advertising campaign with a wedding invitation for US same-sex couples.

The country is one of few in the world to extend full marriage equality to all people.

The ad first appeared in the May 2006 issue of Passport magazine, as part of a gay and lesbian integrated marketing programme that will also include sponsorship of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT,) film festivals, the Human Rights Campaign and special events in select markets across the US.

Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are among the favourite destinations for gay and lesbian travellers. The provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia all legalised same-sex marriage prior to federal extension of marriage equality, with a significant percentage of all marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples going to Americans. In fact, in some cases Americans have outnumbered Canadians seeking licenses. The latest campaign recognises that marriage is just one more reason to visit Canada, whether travellers plan to wed or not.

“There are so many reasons to visit Canada. All travellers are welcome and any traveller can tailor a travel experience that is just right for them,” said Susan Iris, vice president, US for the Canadian Tourism Commission. “We have great cities that offer everything from European charm to a modern fusion of culture, and all that is reflected in our food, shopping and atmosphere. We believe that is why so many people are choosing to come see Canada.”

Last week the US Senate rejected a bill calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

© 2006 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved.