The California Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in May, but June 17 was the first full day that marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples. And as California is home to Hollywood and to the majority of movie and TV celebrities in the United States, it's no surprise that we'll be hearing about celebrity homosexual weddings in the near-future. Among stars expected to take the plunge are Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.
But the first Hollywood star to buy a $70 license to marry a same-sex partner in the state is George Takei, best known as Hikaru Sulu from Star Trek.
Takei, who publicly came out of the closet in October 2005, plans to marry his partner of 21 years, Brad Altman, on September 14. The couple held a press conference outside the West Hollywood city auditorium to announce that they'd received their marriage license at a special ceremony in West Hollywood Park.
"It's going to be the only day like this in our lives," Takei, 71, told reporters and a crowd of fans at the conference, "and it is the only day like this in the history of America." Takei also borrowed a famous Star Trek catch phrase as he added: "I think it's a glorious California morning to make history. Congratulations to all of us. May equality live long and prosper."
The marriage license is valid for 90 days.
Takei and Altman, 54, first announced their engagement on May 16. They will hold their wedding at Los Angeles' Japanese American National Museum, of which the actor is one of the founders. The best man will be fellow Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, and the matron of honor will be Nichelle Nichols (famous for playing Lieutenant Uhura), The Associated Press has recently reported.
"We are grateful that George and Brad are putting a public face on marriage," a representative for the Gay + Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, who held the license ceremony in West Hollywood, told world entertainment news, "and are so willing to share their story during the coming days with millions."
Takei played Sulu in the original Star Trek television series, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1969, as well as in the first six Star Trek movies.
Gay marriage may be a relatively new phenomenon, but as with heterosexual marriage, it takes effort to make it work in the long term. For some random tips from lawyers on how to stay married, click here.
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