New Zealand Hub
As RJ mentioned yesterday, marriage equality has come into effect in New Zealand and one of the country's first same-sex weddings was held aboard an Air New Zealand jet as a show of support from the Kiwi carrier. There to witness the nuptials was Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and here's a clip celebrating the moment.
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
Today marks the first day that marriage equality becomes the law of the land in New Zealand. While it was still technically yesterday evening in the United States, couples such as Natasha Vitali and Melissa Ray have already exchanged vows. Ray and Vitali won their ceremony as part of an all-expenses-paid giveaway on a local radio station, and were the first same-sex couple to be married in the country. Their ceremony took place at 9 AM local time in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau were also among the estimated 31 same-sex couples (according to the Washington Blade) who tied the knot that day. They held their ceremony while on an Air New Zealand flight from Queenstown to Auckland, and had Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Fergueson and husband Justin Mikita among the many witnesses in attendance.
The newly-adopted marriage equality law came to New Zealand thanks to lesbian Parliamentarian Louisa Wall, who was one of the many in attendance during Vitali and Ray's ceremony in Auckland. She expressed her pride in a statement to the Washinton Blade:
“I feel very proud to have had my marriage equality bill pass through the New Zealand parliamentary process with support from across the House. Today we can celebrate the reality of our law change which allows any two people who love each other, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender identity to commit to one another in the institution of marriage.”
Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler were also among those who got married earlier today. They also have the distinction of being the first Australian same-sex couple to be married under New Zealand's new law. The Herald Sun predicts that the two men are the first of what will be a "flood" of same-sex Australian couples "expected to travel across the Tasman to exchange vows." Unfortunately, their nuptials won't be recognized in their home nation, so their gesture is more of a symbolic one. However, the two men hope that their symbolic gesture will lead to real change. "Talk to your local candidates, find out what their view is, because this is a chance we have this year to make a difference," Mr McCarthy said."We're normal people, we live in this society...it would be very good if people thought we could be treated equally."
New Zealand is now the 14th nation in the world to legalize marriage equality. Next in line will likely be England and Wales, which recently approved a bill that is anticipated to take effect this upcoming spring.
Same-sex marriage will become legal in New Zealand tomorrow. So far, at least 31 gay and lesbian couples plan to marry on that day.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald's partner detained and questioned under terrorism act at Heathrow Airport. Said Greenwald: "To detain my partner for a full nine hours while denying him a lawyer, and then seize large amounts of his possessions, is clearly intended to send a message of intimidation to those of us who have been reporting on the NSA and GCHQ."
Al Jazeera America, the newest 24-hour cable news channel since Fox News, debuts tomorrow.
The longest flight in the world to end for good.
Bullied gay Italian teen takes his own life. Study shows many gay teens in that country contemplate suicide: "The study of 4,000 high school students, ages 14 to 18 years-old, found that about 5 percent identified as LGBT, of which one out of three contemplated suicide at least once."
One gay writer's experience with being skinny-fat in the gay community.
Listen to audio from an interview with Katy Perry and anti-gay Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott: "Let's talk about gay marriage...That's right. Love is equal.'"
Madonna celebrates birthday number 55.
Third gender option on German birth certificates: "A new German law stipulates that children who are born of indeterminate gender no longer have to be categorized as 'male"' or 'female.' Instead, parents can choose to leave the space blank on their child's birth certificate, according to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. Those individuals can eventually decide whether to identify as male, female or neither."
Chris Pine takes a coffee break.
Benedict Cumberbatch believes documenting the crisis in Egypt is more important than photographing a movie shoot.
Gay wedding only shop opens in the UK: "We played around with the idea and thought there was a massive gap in the market for same sex marriages."
On-again, off-again: Beyonce and her hair have gotten back together.
6.5 magnitude quake rocks New Zealand.
Gaga's fans are, um, dedicated.
Straight Iowan couple pulls out of wedding venue because the venue turned away a gay couple on the grounds that "gay marriage is inferior to heterosexual marriage."
As the crisis in Egypt continues to worsen, protestors jump off a bridge in an attempt to flee from the Egyptian military forces.
George W. Bush's daughter, Barbara, wants Hillary Clinton to run for President but wouldn't necessarily vote for her: "I don't know who she'd be running against."
War of the Roses redux? Battle ensues over the recently discovered remains of Richard III.
Today Show segment on teen boys and sexting stirs debate.
Blind item: is a major actor preparing to come out or just head back to the closet?
Former French First Lady Carla Bruni talks about what it was like meeting the English royal family: "It was an incredible experience. It was very -- how can I say? -- exceptional, you know. What happens with the royal family is that they're so kind, you know, and they make you at ease. They make you feel comfortable. So it wasn't difficult; it was a wonderful experience. I'll never forget."
Is this the beginning of a meme?
As any socialite worth her salt knows, it's stressful hosting a fundraiser for President Obama.
Darren Young opens up to wrestling.org saying he's "deeply in love" with his boyfriend of two years who was apparently a motivating factor in his decision to come out yesterday.
The NSA broke privacy rules 2,776 times: "Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls."
Julia Child would have been 100 yesterday. PBS gives her the remix treatment in honor of her centennial.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrestles with a porn addiction in his directorial debut, Don Jon. Check out the trailer here.
A defense of gay stereotypes.
Edie Windsor helps inaugurate Long Island's new LGBT Community Center.
Glee tribute episode to Cory Monteith will not touch on drug abuse. Creator Ryan Murphy felt it would be "really exploitative."
On a related note, the trailer for Monteith's final film McCanick has been released. The film will debut in September at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Katy Perry blasts Tony Abbott, quite possibly the next Australian Prime Minister, on live radio show because of his lack of support for gay marriage: "Let's talk about gay marriage," she said. "Yeah, buddy, that's right. Love is equal." A host then explains that Abbott is against gay marriage. "I love you as a human being, but I can't give you my vote then," Perry added. "I just don't believe in your policies so that's what a lot of people should be doing."