Tokyo’s Disneyland hosts a gay wedding

Tokyo’s Disneyland hosted a gay wedding on Friday which went viral on social media there, the NYT reports:

“My partner Hiroko and I just held a gay wedding at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Even Mickey and Minnie are here to celebrate with us!” Ms. Higashi, 28, wrote in a Twitter post that also had a picture of the newlyweds posing with the big-eared Disney characters and a flower-festooned cake. Her entry was reposted more than 6,000 times, drawing largely positive responses.

“Congratulations,” replied Masaki Koh, a Japanese gay porn star. “Your wonderful wedding will bring inspiration and hope to many people who still hesitate to take the first step. I was also encouraged that Tokyo Disney Resort was so understanding.”

The lead-up to the wedding was not all smooth sailing, however:

She reported on her blog and on Twitter that she had inquired about weddings at Tokyo Disney Sea, a part of the Disney Resort. But when it became apparent to the organizers that her partner was female, Ms. Higashi reported, she was asked if one of them could wear a tuxedo — so that other visitors to the park would not feel uncomfortable.

Her posts set off the first stir on Japanese social media sites.

A week later, the organizers at Milial Resort Hotels, a subsidiary of the company that runs Tokyo Disney, got back to Ms. Higashi with good news: both brides were welcome to wear wedding dresses (or both tuxedos, for that matter). “Mickey Mouse supports gay marriage!” Web headlines declared.

Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2013/03/tokyo-disneyland-hosts-lesbian-wedding.html#ixzz2MmGbBag4

Obama’s gay marriage case submitted to Supreme Court

President Barack Obama’s administration has pressed its case to institutionalize gay marriage, formally asking the US Supreme Court to abolish a 1996 law that defines marriage as only a union between a man and a woman.

The Supreme Court is to hear pro and contra arguments on March 27 on Obama’s gay marriage proposal, submitted on Friday. Rival Republicans in Congress also filed their case, urging the court to retain the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.).The test case, backed by Obama, centers on a lesbian whose same-sex marriage in Canada in 2007 was not recognized by US authorities as grounds for inheritance when her partner died. She was left facing a $360,000 (273,000 euro) requirement to pay estate taxes.The legal brief filed by US Solicitor General Donald Verrilli argues that the Defense of Marriage Act “violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection”.Gays ‘denied’ benefitsVerrilli said DOMA denied “an array of important federal benefits” to tens of thousands of same-sex couples, which were otherwise available to heterosexual couples.It was time for the court to take a “careful look” at laws that discriminated against gays and lesbians, Verrilli said.

Republican defenders of DOMA said it was inconsistent for the US Justice Department to question the 1996 law.”The time to speak was in 1996, when Congress gave careful consideration to the need for DOMA,” they said.Obama has on various occasions proposed the right to gay marriage and drawn parallels to the 20th century’s major civil rights campaigns, especially by peoples of color.In 2011, Obama abolished the Pentagon’s previous policy requiring about 17,000 homosexual couples in the military to hide their sexual preferences.In March, the Supreme Court is also due to weigh the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a law which bans gay marriage in that state.ipj/slk (AFP, Reuters)