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Tokyo Disney goes gay

May 16, 2012

Japan, with its traditionally conservative cultural heritage, doesn’t legally recognize marriages for same-sex couples. But Tokyo Disneyland will push the progressive torch forward by allowing same-sex weddings at many of its attractions, including the Cinderella Castle, where two Japanese women recently inquired about a wedding ceremony.

NY Daily News reports that when Koyuki Higashi initially reached out to Disney about marrying her partner at the Castle, a spokesman replied it would be fine as long as one wore a tux: “A same-sex wedding would create ‘repercussions’ among visitors to the park if both brides were wearing wedding dresses or both grooms wore tuxedoes.” Apparently, however, that spokesman’s boss quickly pulled rank, because Higashi received another email saying the previous rep “was mistaken when explaining about outfits,” and that the women were free to conduct a ceremony and dress how they wish.

Higashi’s inquiry about a Disney wedding came just a few days after President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality in the U.S. Upon receiving the thumbs-up from Disney, Higashi and her partner paid a visit to Tokyo Disneyland to thank Mickey Mouse himself for his support. I guess Obama and Mickey are in the same boat here, endorsing marriages not yet recognized on a national level in either country.

But Tokyo Disney gets another thing right: The Spokesman said couples couldn’t get married in the resort’s chapel “because of Christian teaching.” This is as it should be: those who belong to a church and want to abide by its rules should go ahead and follow them—for those who want to play by secular rules, there should be equal rights all around.

If Mickey & Co. can get it right, maybe there’s hope that our two countries can follow suit.

The only hang-up for Higashi and her partner: a Cinderella Castle wedding costs $95 grand. The couple hasn’t decided if they’re going to go through with it just yet.

[Image via NY Daily News]

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