When Japanese gay rights activist Koyuki Higashi contacted Tokyo Disneyland last year to ask if they would host her wedding to her girlfriend it sounded like an awareness-raising stunt, but in fact she did dream of a white wedding at Disneyland and last Friday the dream came true.
‘My partner Hiroko and I just held a gay wedding at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Even Mickey and Minnie are here to celebrate with us!’ said Higashi in a tweet, accompanied by a photo of the new wives with the Disney characters, that was retweeted 6,000 times.
Responses to the news of the first same-sex wedding at Tokyo Disneyland were mostly positive, New York Times reports. Gay Japanese porn star Masaki Koh tweeted:
‘Congratulations. Your wonderful wedding will bring inspiration and hope to many people who still hesitate to take the first step. I was also encouraged that Tokyo Disney Resort was so understanding.’
Tokyo Disney Resort were not so understanding when the matter was first raised in May last year. Higashi contacted them to ask, since they recently started hosting weddings, would they accommodate a same-sex wedding for her and her girlfriend?
A staff member responded that Disney could only allow a two-women wedding ceremony if one of the woman wore a tuxedo because ‘other visitors will be watching’.
After Higashi publicized Disney’s response on Twitter, prompting mild outrage, the company contacted her again to say she was welcome to hold her wedding with them.
The big day arrived last Friday, but same-sex marriage is still far from being legalized in Japan.
‘Personally I think civil union rather than marriage is suitable in Japan, but it will take some time,’ said Taiga Ishikawa, one of the first openly gay politicians in Japan, in an interview with Gay Star News last February.
Last May renowned Japanese actor and director Takeshi Kitano compared gay marriage with bestiality, saying that if you support the former ‘you would support a marriage to an animal eventually then’.