The most recent same-sex TV wedding happened on Fox’s Empire this week. Characters Jamal Lyon (played by the beleaguered Jussie Smollett) married his partner, Kai Givens (Toby Onwumere).
In honor of the historic moment, Gay Star News looks back on our favorite TV wedding moments.
Roc – Russell and Chris
Way back in 1991, 24 years before the US would legalize marriage equality, one network TV show would make history and become the first to air a same-sex wedding.
That show was Roc, a sitcom about a family man (Roc) living in Baltimore, Maryland.
In the eighth episode of the first season called, Can’t Help Loving That Man, Roc’s uncle Russell (played by Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree) reveals he’s gay. Russell is also in love, but the family have a tough time accepting. Especially his brother, Roc’s dad.
Eventually the family come around and Roc even hosts the wedding between Russell and his fiancee Chris in his own home.
Grey’s Anatomy – Arizona and Callie
Grey’s Anatomy had its own same-sex fairytale when surgery goddesses Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) tied the knot in season 7.
Their sweet wedding, officiated by the ever-sassy Bailey (Chandra Wilson), followed a tragic storyline, in a way Grey’s Anatomy fans are well used to. Sure, Callie and Arizona broke up eventually, but they hinted they were patching things up before Capshaw left the show for good in season 14. For better and for worse, y’all.
Friends – Carol and Susan
Friends was created by a gay man and a straight woman. While you might think of Friends as the most mainstream show imaginable now, it took risks.
In its second season, in 1996, Friends aired ‘The One With the Lesbian Wedding.’
It featured Ross’ ex-wife Carol marrying her partner Susan. While some affiliates refused to air the episode, 31.6 million viewers tuned in. And not only that, Newt Gingrich’s sister, Candace, officiated the ceremony.
Candace made a powerful statement in the episode, something that must have inspired those millions of people: ‘Nothing makes God happier when two people, any two people, come together in love.’
Steven Universe – Ruby and Sapphire
Steven Universe is the kind of show that is raising the open-minded loving smart kids of today.
A coming-of-age story of a young boy who lives with Crystal Gems – magical aliens.
One episode sees the wedding day of Ruby and Sapphire, the component Crystal Gems that fuse to form Garnet.
In their vows, Ruby says Sapphire allows her to see value in herself. Sapphire says Ruby opens her world up to new possibilities.
There is nothing strange, or unusual, about the wedding in this world of magic. It’s just seen as normal.
Neighbours – David and Aaron
The long running and much beloved Australia soap, Neighbours hosted its first gay wedding last year.
Neighbours is no stranger to hosting big weddings, with the show’s most famous wedding between Scott (Jason Donavon) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) attracting 20 million viewers in the UK alone when it aired in 1988.
Described as the wedding of the year, David and Aaron tied the knot in an intimate outdoor ceremony.
Marriage equality advocate and lesbian comedian, Magda Szubanski officiated the wedding.
Only a few months after the wedding, Neighbours made history again when it cast its first trans actor, Georgie Stone.