Japanese lesbian can't wait for Disneyland "wedding"

Wed May 16, 2012 8:24am EDT
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By Olivier Fabre

TOKYO (Reuters) - Like many Japanese women, Koyuki Higashi adores Tokyo Disneyland. So it was only natural that she would want to hold her wedding there, as many other couples have done.

"My partner and I just love going to Disneyland, so when we saw a pamphlet advertising wedding receptions by the Cinderella Castle in Tokyo Disneyland we called and asked if we could hold our wedding there," Higashi told Reuters in a telephone interview.

But Higashi is openly lesbian and her upcoming commitment ceremony is being characterized in the media as the first "gay wedding" to be held at Japan's Magic Kingdom.

While U.S. President Barack Obama came out in favor of same-sex weddings last week, such a political stance remains a distant dream in Japan, where civil unions are not legally allowed and simply being openly gay remains taboo for many, even though there are no laws against homosexuality.

When Higashi gave them details of her plans, the hotel initially had one request.

"When I explained it would be with my female partner they hesitated and asked that one of us wear a tuxedo as the sight of two people with the same wedding dress would make other visitors to the park uncomfortable," Higashi said.

After she questioned this, the resort promised to check things out and get back to her. A week later, Higashi was told she and her partner would be allowed to both wear wedding dresses, or both tuxedos, if so inclined.

"We have never refused a request for a same-sex marriage," said a spokeswoman at Milial Resort Hotels, a subsidiary of Tokyo Disney Resort.   Continued...

Disney character Mickey Mouse (top) performs atop a float during a parade at Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu, east of Tokyo April 15, 2011. REUTERS/Issei Kato