August 9, 2013: Jackson and Lapka: Gay Divorce after fight for Marriage Rights
Actor-singer Cheyenne Jackson, 38, best known for his appearances on Glee and 30 Rock, has announced his upcoming divorce to husband Monte Lapka, ending their relationship of 13 years. At the time of their marriage, Jackson said “I married the best man I’ve ever known,” and even now sticks to the sentiment, still calling Lapka “a wonderful man.” The couple’s divorce will reportedly be amicable after their short two years of marriage, and they will remain on good terms. Though Jackson’s rep originally issued a statement on the divorce that would have kept the matter private, Jackson’s celebrity status has made both their marriage and divorce of cultural impact and warranted a public statement on the matter: “it is a sad, personal thing.”
As international ambassador for amfAR (the foundation for Aids Research and national spokesperson for The Hetrick-Martin Institute, Jackson is publicly involved in the fight for LGBT rights. When California’s Proposition 8 was declared unconstitutional in 2010, Jackson released a declaration on marriage equality to his home state of New York: “We all know that you’re the ‘concrete jungle where dreams r made of,’ so make mine come true and take the necessary steps to allow me to make it legal with my man. Step up, we believe in you.” Jackson and Lapka were married shortly after New York State legalized gay marriage in 2011, furthering his statement on gay rights and the positive impact of the legalization of gay marriage with their official union.
Jackson and Lapka’s marriage was a model for Hollywood same-sex couples and though the couple would have preferred to keep their issues private, Jackson wanted to address the impact of their divorce on the LGBT community, as well as the rumours of the reasons for their split. Though some sources report his new tattoos, membership in Alcoholics Anonymous and a possible younger boyfriend, Jackson made clear that his new personal changes had little to do with his divorce, with the couple drifting apart for some time and leading separate lives for several months. “It’s sad right now because we’re both going through something that’s really painful, but that’s life.”