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Crowds Cheer For One Of UK's First Married Gay Couples: VIDEO

Flashinglights

As we just reported, Peter McGraith and David Cabreza of Islington were among the first same-sex couples (and quite possibly the first) to get married once marriage equality was legalized in England and Wales after midnight. When the happy couple emerged from Islington Town Hall they were greeted with a warm and raucous crowd wishing them well.  

Meanwhile Prime Minister David Cameron, who fought hard for marriage equality, released a statement today, as Joe.My.God. highlights:

"The introduction of same-sex civil marriage says something about the sort of country we are. It says we are a country that will continue to honour its proud traditions of respect, tolerance and equal worth. It also sends a powerful message to young people growing up who are uncertain about their sexuality. It clearly says ‘you are equal’ whether straight or gay. That is so important in trying to create an environment where people are no longer bullied because of their sexuality – and where they can realise their potential, whether as a great mathematician like Alan Turing, a star of stage and screen like Sir Ian McKellen or a wonderful journalist and presenter like Clare Balding. We are a nation that is growing stronger economically because of our long term economic plan. But I hope we can also be a country that is growing stronger socially because we value love and commitment equally. Let us raise a toast to that – and all those getting married this weekend.”

Watch video of McGraith and Cabreza emerging as husband and husband for the first time, along with a few more photos from the big day, AFTER THE JUMP…

Crowd

(Photo at top via Twitter; photo at bottom also via Twitter)

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Former ‘Who’s The Boss’ Star Danny Pintauro to Marry Boyfriend

Dan&WilDanny Pintauro, the former child actor who played Jonathon Brower on the 1980s sitcom Who’s The Boss, will soon be married to boyfriend Wil Tabares, according to the couple’s website.

Wrote Tabares:

The BIG DAY is coming soon! I mean like, REAL SOON! Dan and I are totally excited and can't wait to... seal the deal. I'm sure many of you out there know what we're talking about. We're still finalizing all of our plans and trying to get a final guest count. There's so much to do and plan for a wedding, I think it was a bit overwhelming for both Dan and myself. We really didn't know what to expect. But everyone so far has been more than hepful & we appreciate everything everyone is doing for us. We'll see you on the Big Day!

Last April, the couple announced their engagement and their plan to move to California after Prop 8 was overturned. A live-stream of the exchange of nuptials will be provided on the couple's site.

Best wishes to the two!


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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