It’s official. New Zealand is the 13th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage and the first in the Asia-Pacific region. Lawmakers voted 77 to 44 in favor of the gay-marriage bill on its third and final reading. When the result was announced, people watching from the public gallery and some lawmakers immediately broke into song, singing a New Zealand anthem, “Pokarekare Ana” in the indigenous Maori language.
Since 2005, New Zealand has allowed civil unions, which gave many legal rights to gay couples. The new law will allow them to jointly adopt children for the first time and also allow their marriages to be recognized in other countries. The law will take effect in late August.
With New Zealand now allowing gay marriage, it puts pressure on nearby countries to follow suit. In Australia, there has been little political momentum at the federal level. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has expressed her opposition to same-sex marriage. Since New Zealand is only a three hour plane ride away, many Aussie couples tired of waiting for the government to act, will most likely travel there. This will definitely spark a tourism boom.
Same-sex marriage is currently recognized in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark. Lawmakers in Uruguay approved a law last week that President Jose Mujica is expected to sign.
Congrats to all our Kiwi readers. I traveled to Auckland last year and really enjoyed it. My only regret was not traveling to the beautiful countryside. If you haven’t been to New Zealand, I highly recommend it.
Oprah Winfrey’s best gay BFF is heading down the aisle. I wonder if she’ll play a prominent role in the wedding. Love is certainly in the air. This is the third engagement involving LGBTI celebs in the past week. First former Who’s The Boss? star Danny Pintauro and then The Talk’s Sara Gilbert. Now it’s Nate Berkus’ turn.
People magazine reports the former talk show host popped the question to his boyfriend Jeremiah Brent on Monday. Fans of The Rachel Zoe Project will remember him as Brad Goreski’s replacement on Season 4. The couple celebrated the happy news with friends in Peru atop the famed Machu Picchu. The two have been dating just under a year. Berkus’ rep confirmed the engagement to the publication.
I’m happy that the 41-year-old interior designer found love once again. If you recall, he tragically lost his longtime partner, Fernando Bengoechea, during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Check out a few pictures of Nate and Jeremiah below. If you thought Nate was cute, Jeremiah is even cuter. Congratulations to the happy couple.
While homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, same sex marriage is legal in South Africa and discrimination against LGBTI people outlawed. Even with that though, homophobia is bound to exist, especially in smaller towns. That makes this story of new-found acceptance by a small community a fantastic one.
“We decided to have a traditional wedding because we firstly wanted to show people that being homosexual can be part of an African culture,” says Modisane. “Being gay is as African as being black”
Tshepo Cameron Modisane and Thoba Calvin Sitho, both 27-years-old, married in the town of KwaDukuza (Stanger) this past weekend. It was the town’s first gay marriage. The two have been dating for three years and decided to tie the knot in a traditional Zulu and Tswana wedding ceremony. I love watching how jubilant, not only the newlyweds are, but the guests and crowd of onlookers also.
Watch a couple of videos of the grooms talking about their relationship and wedding below. The mother-of-the-groom is so adorable. Check it out.
Does anyone else notice at this time of year that every couple you know is either breaking up or getting engaged? I can list at least a handful of couples who fall in either category. Lots of homos just want to slut it up for the summer shirtless season ;)
One homo who’s deciding to stay in his relationship is former child star Danny Pintauro. The Who’s The Boss actor revealed to US Weekly that his boyfriend of a year, Wil Tabares proposed earlier this week while the two were on a trip to Palm Springs. Hmmm, I wonder if they were at the White Party with Patrick and Adam.
The Stanford University grad tells the publication that Tabares showed him a video “and in the video held up the box [with the ring],” Pintauro says. “I looked up and he had it in his hand!” Awww, cute.
Since leaving show business, Danny moved to Las Vegas where he manages a restaurant. Ironically, Tabares is in show business and an entertainer in Sin City. Side note: If you want to know what Tabares has to work with in bed, nude pictures of Danny leaked online a few years ago. A simple Google search will yield your desired results. LOL. Check out the engagement ring and his fiance below.
Here comes the
bride son! Here comes the bride son. According to Stephen Colbert that could very well be a possibility about Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons and his 27-year-old son Max. The political satirist poked fun at a recent interview Irons gave to Huffington Post about gay marriage. Here’s what the 64-year-old said:
“I just worry about that. I mean, tax-wise is an interesting one, because you see, could a father not marry his son?” Irons had said. “It’s not incest between men. Incest is there to protect us from having inbreeding. But men don’t breed, so incest wouldn’t cover that. Now if that was so, then if I wanted to pass on my estate without death duties, I could marry my son and pass on my estate to him. I don’t have a strong feeling either way.” – Jeremy Irons
Jeremy’s thoughts just opened up the door for comedians to take a shot at him. On The Colbert Report, the host said, “So, if gay marriage is legalized in England, Jeremy Irons’ son Max, get ready to make your father the happiest man alive,” Colbert joked. “I mean, after all, you’ve been together for 27 years. It’s time to put a ring on it.” Hilarious. He continued to make fun of Irons by saying:
“If you say you don’t have a strong feeling about an issue and you wish everybody well at the end, anything you say in between isn’t offensive,” Colbert criticized. “So thank you, Jeremy Irons, and please don’t stop talking about the issues — or do. I don’t have strong feelings either way.”
Watch Irons’ interview with Huffington post below. The good parts begin at the 29:50 mark. You can also catch The Colbert Report segment as well.
Watching proposals are always fun to watch. Why do you think I sit through entire seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. But watching a gay one is even better. I love how excited the one getting proposed to always gets. If you watched the gay proposal at the Kylie Minogue concert, you’ll also appreciate this one. Sometimes when I think I’m dead inside, I watch a video like this and poof… I’m human again.
Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson interrupted their concert at the Majestic Theater in Detroit to allow one man to propose to his boyfriend on stage. Apparently, Manson had been communicating with this superfan online before the concert. Because she’s awesome (love Manson) she brought out Scott Sauter and Domenick Viviano on stage. Loved that she played cupid. Once Domenick got on bended knee, the crowd went wild. Awwww. How awesome is that? Watch the proposal below.
Thanks to everyone who came out to our show in Detroit last night at the Majestic. Can’t BELIEVE we were able to act cupid for the lovely Scott and Domenick. That moment will be forever etched in our minds ( I think I actually SCREAMED with delight at one point) and a great memory of Detroit to take with us.?love love love – Garbage
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases that will determine the fate of same-sex marriage in America earlier this week. Their decision won’t come for months, but TIME magazine has declared victory in the eyes of the American public. Naturally, the publication featured two covers putting gay marriage front and center.
Photographer Peter Hapak snapped real life couples for the cover and inside editorial. The one above featuring two men kissing are film and television set designer Eric LaBonté & his domestic partner Russell Hart, a hair salon owner. The two live in Los Angeles and have been together for seven years and engaged since 2010.
“My parents have been married for 45 years and I always knew that was something that I wanted. I want our children to say, ‘My daddies are married.’ We wanted to feel like a complete package.” – Eric LaBonté (right)
The images on the cover and in the issue are beautiful and make a bold statement. According to magazine chief Rick Stengel, there was much internal debate on to publish the covers or not. Here’s what he revealed via an editor’s note published in Politico’s Playbook:
“We had a long debate in our offices about this week’s cover images of two same-sex couples,” Stengel wrote. “Some thought they were sensationalist and too in-your-face. Others felt the images were beautiful and symbolized the love that is at the heart of the idea of marriage. I agree with the latter, and I hope you do too.”
In the second day of back-to-back marriage hearings at the US Supreme Court, the justices heard arguments yesterday in United States v Windsor. Edie Windsor married her long-time partner in Ontario, after which the two of them moved to New York. At the time, New York did not permit same-sex marriages, but they did give full recognition to same-sex marriages lawfully performed elsewhere. When Windsor’s wife died, the federal government sent her a tax bill for over $360,000 because the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Had Ms. Windsor’s marriage been recognized, her tax bill would have been zero.
Yesterday’s hearing was divided into two parts. The first, much like the Prop 8 hearing, was devoted to a somewhat dull but important procedural question: the issue of standing. Because the Obama Administration was supporting Ms. Windsor’s case, there was a question of whether there was anybody who was actually able to bring the case to the Supreme Court. In simple terms, courts resolve legal disputes. If both sides agree on the law, then there’s no dispute. No dispute, nothing for the courts to do. Republicans from the US House of Representatives have also tried to step in to defend DOMA, but there were also some tough questions about whether or not they had a right to be in court. With that said, a majority of the justices seemed willing (or at least more willing than they did with the Prop 8 case), to rule that the case was properly before them.