Singer Melissa Etheridge to wed after gay marriage ruling

Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:29pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. rock singer Melissa Etheridge on Wednesday announced plans to marry partner Linda Wallem after the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings paved the way for gay marriage in California, the couple's home state.

Etheridge, 52, came out in 1993 and was an early and prominent gay rights advocate in the entertainment industry.

"I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem," Etheridge said in a statement.

"Once again our constitution stands strong," the "Come to My Window" singer added. "All men, and women, and everything in between are created equal."

Wallem, 52, is a creator and executive producer on the cable television series "Nurse Jackie."

The Supreme Court affirmed on Wednesday a lower court ruling that struck down California's voter-approved ban on gay marriage. The state would become the United States' 13th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

The country's highest court also struck down a key part of a the federal law, Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), that denied benefits to same-sex married couples.

The Supreme Court's rulings reverberated in Hollywood, where some of the entertainment industry's most prominent personalities advocate gay rights.

Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have said in the past that they would not get married until gay couples could as well.   Continued...

Singer Melissa Etheridge poses for photographers after receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles September 27, 2011. REUTERS/Phil McCarten