The California Supreme Court's ruling last week in favor of same-sex marriage is expected to result in a flood of gay weddings—not least among gay and lesbian celebrities. The first to announce her intent to tie the knot was Ellen DeGeneres, who broke the news on her TV talk show on May 16th (see the YouTube video) to the delight of her audience. DeGeneres's partner, Portia deRossi, was at the show for the announcement, though we assume (and certainly hope) it wasn't the first she'd heard of the idea. Next up, Reuters reports that George Takei, better known as Mr. Sulu from Star Trek or from his recent role on Heroes, is ready to marry his partner of 21 years, Brad Altman. Finally, at ages 71 and 54, respectively, they can stop saving themselves for marriage and consummate their relationship....
The more commitment-phobic gay celebrities should keep their heads down for a while, however—the press is out to get any and all famous gays on record with their intent, or lack thereof, to marry. Curious about your favorite LGBT celebs' California wedding plans? The Advocate has the run-down: Lance Bass just loves love; Alicia Banks is too scared of divorce to get married anyway; Andrew Sullivan is very happy (and already happily married); Melissa Etheridge already considers herself married by dint of a commitment ceremony, and isn't sure whether she should double-up with a state-sanctioned wedding; and Chad Allen is paradoxically happy to be under the same pressure as every straight man—to propose.
One can only admire the foresight of Grey's Anatomy's openly gay T.K. Knight, who agreed to headline a mass commitment ceremony being held by the Matthew Shepherd Foundation on June 4th in West Hollywood. Not only is he aiding a great cause, but he is showing commitment to commitment—without having to commit himself.
Will gay and lesbian celebrity weddings hurt or help the cause for continued legalization of same-sex marriage in California, the U.S.'s most populous state? It depends who you talk to. While the mainstream press has generally celebrated the announcements, conservative commentators have rushed to jump on these happy gay nuptial announcements; for example, Queerty reports that Wendy Wright of Concerned Women For America appeared on CNN last night and compared Degeneres's wedding to the polygamist community recently broken up in Texas. Not to be outdone, Fox News brought in some marketing experts to discuss how Degeneres's announcement of her upcoming wedding would likely alienate advertisers and destroy her show. Luckily there is still no news of advertisers jumping off the happy Ellen bandwagon; perhaps the advertisers watched the long standing ovation in the audience after Denegeres made her announcement.