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Stephen Fry Set To Narrate Gay Musical TV Wedding For Channel 4

Gayweddingmusical

Stephen Fry is set to narrate a special for the UK's Channel 4 called, "Our Gay Wedding: The Musical." With music and lyrics written by the couple, composer Benjamin Till and actor Nathan Taylor, and group numbers to be performed by the couples' guests (and a couple of special appearances, yet to be announced), the special is looking to be a hit and to bring awareness to the issue of gay rights around the world.

The Independent reports:

“We’ve been together for nearly 12 years and never thought we’d get the chance to get married, for real,” the couple said. “Doing what we both do for a living has meant that we’ve spent our entire lives expressing emotion through song, so getting married in a musical, particularly one that we’re writing ourselves, felt like the most natural thing in the world.”

In a nod to the struggle for gay rights, there will be tributes to other gay and lesbian couples getting married and reminders of the hardships faced by gay people in countries where homosexuality is still a crime. 

“We are proud to be marking a huge milestone for gay rights - a cause that has long been close to Channel 4’s heart,” said John Hay, Channel 4’s commissioning editor for arts.

Fry, who is openly gay, has been an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights in Britain and globally. He was particularly vehement in his attacks on Russia and urged Britain to boycott the Sochi Olympics.

Fry likened the Sochi Games to those hold in Berlin under Nazi Germany. "I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler's anti-Semitism. I for one, weep at seeing history repeat itself," he wrote in a letter to Downing Street.

Channel 4 has not yet set a date for the musical wedding extravaganza. England and Wales' same-sex marriage legislation will go into effect on March 29th, though, so expect to see Benjamin and Nathan tie the knot soon after. 

Photo via The Independent.


Chicago’s Loyola University Bans Gay Wedding Ceremonies As Marriage Equality Begins in Illinois

As Illinois’ marriage equality law begins to take effect this year, Loyola University in Chicago has adopted an official policy that bans same-sex couples from marrying on campus grounds. DNAinfo Chicago reports:

LoyolaThe policy, enacted in December, allows only Catholic-sanctioned weddings — between a man and a woman — at the school's iconic Madonna della Strada Chapel in Rogers Park [pictured right]. All other ceremonies would be forbidden campuswide, university officials said.

The move undermined the hope of students and alumni who wanted the university to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies on campus grounds after the state Legislature passed the same-sex marriage law last year.

The state's first same-sex couples were officially married Friday.

"I was extremely disappointed because that policy is not reflective of the Loyola that I know," said Michael Jarecki, 35, who's gay and graduated from Loyola in 2001. "To me, this seems like two steps backwards."

Windy City Times notes that Loyola's religious affiliation and mission affords the university exemptions granted under the equal-marriage law, which states that religious organizations are not required to provide their facilities for wedding ceremonies and receptions. 

However, the law's definition of "religious facilities" states that educational facilities are not exempt and with the school's standing as both a religious organization and an educational institution, there could be room for interpretation based on how the law is worded. A way around this would be for the school to argue that the wedding and reception venues offered by the university aren't necessarily used for educational purposes. 


Copenhagen To Host Gay And Straight Weddings During Eurovision This May

During last year's Eurovision Song Contest, Krista Siegfrieds of Finland performed "Marry Me," and placed a big 'ole kiss on one of her female back-up singers to boot (right). Looking to up the romantic ante, Eurovision's 2014 host city, Copenhagen, will offer three locations for all couples, same-sex included, to be married around the city. 

EurovisionkissEurovision reports:

“Since 2010, we have had a lot of success marrying same- and opposite-sex pairs in the open air at selected locations in Copenhagen. As a city, we put a lot of effort into making everyone welcome and the Eurovision Song Contest is an excellent opportunity to offer weddings," explains the director of Copenhagen’s Citizen Service, Thomas Jakobsen, who is responsible for marriage ceremonies in the City.

“In 1989, Copenhagen City Hall performed the world’s first ever civil partnership. Now, 25 years later, the City of Copenhagen will once again play host to diversity with wedding arrangements in the city," says Søren Lauersen, Chairperson of LGBT Denmark.

"I am sure that many couples, gay and straight from both home and abroad will accept this offer”, he went on to say.

The marriage ceremonies will take place May 7th, 9th, and 10th, and you can find more information about them at Copenhagen's tourism website.


Andy Cohen Performs Gay Wedding with Jonathan Groff and Tamar Braxton as Witnesses: VIDEO

Cohen

On the Watch What Happens Live aftershow, Andy Cohen officiated the wedding of Daniel Cunningham and Ricardo Santiago in the Bravo clubhouse. Looking's Jonathan Groff and Tamar Braxton served as witnesses.

Santiago and Cunningham recently celebrated their 9th anniversary and asked Cohen to marry them. Cohen got licensed to perform the wedding and did so last night.

Groff showed that he's a big softie and shed some tears. Perhaps you will too.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Eric Stonestreet Talks About Modern Family's Upcoming 'Gay Agenda'

Ericstonestreet[SPOILERS]

Eric Stonestreet, the Emmy-award winning actor who plays Cam on ABC's "Modern Family" (and appeared in a hilarious 2011 sketch, at right, with co-star Jesse Tyler Ferguson) recently revealed a few upcoming episode secrets, proving that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. Of course, Cam and Mitchell's wedding is coming up and a bachelor party is inevitable. In true comedic fashion, though, the couple finds themselves in the midst of someone else's celebration rather than their own.

Entertainment Weekly reports:

“We just shot an episode that was kind of an anti-bachelor party episode in Vegas,” says the man who plays Cam. “When we get there we run into Langham, Mitchell’s ex played by the great Fred Armisen, and he’s there having his bachelor party. And they say ‘Well, while you’re here, feel free to stop by,’ and he hands me a piece of paper with all the happenings, and I turn and I go, ‘Wow, an actual gay agenda.’ So I sneak off and go and participate in their bachelor party while Mitchell gets a sauna and gets a message.”

Sounds like things may get a little rowdy, but will we see some ever-elusive "Modern Family" gay PDA? 

Head over to EW and listen to Eric Stonestreet's podcast! And let us know your favorite Cam/Mitchell moments in the comments below.


Two Must-See LGBT Sundance Films: 'Love is Strange' and 'Appropriate Behavior'

  Lithgow
John Lithgow & Alfred Molina just got married in "Love is Strange"

BY NATHANIEL ROGERS 

I'm popping into this space from the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah, where I've been attending the 30th annual Sundance Film Festival. It kicked off the day of the Oscar nominations a week ago and in my golden-statue-mania I keep imagining it would have felt more festive had it coincided with Robert Redford's first Oscar nomination in 19 years for All is Lost. But it was not meant to be. Still Redford's legacy lives on in the most celebrated American film festival. Coincidentally, but happily given our purposes here at Towleroad, two of the best films at Sundance 2014 are LGBT films. Hopefully they'll both hit theaters or on demand or however we're watching movies next, and very soon.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR is the perfect Iranian bisexual hipster coming-out comedy that you didn't know you needed or even wanted. But it's really good and really funny. The absurdly talented Desiree Akhavan (who some of you may know from the lesbian web series The Slope) wrote, directed and stars in the film as Shirin. She's a sharp-tongued bisexual twentysomething who is reeling from a breakup with Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) her activist vanilla girlfriend, and acting out sexually in Brooklyn.

MORE ON THESE TWO MUST-SEES AFTER THE JUMP...

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