Wednesday, September 17, 2008

George Takei marries longtime partner Brad Altman

From the AP via the Houston Chronicle:

George Takei and his longtime partner, Brad Altman, have agreed to live long and prosper together.

Takei, 71, and Altman, 54, were married Sunday in a multicultural ceremony at the Japanese American National Museum that featured a Buddhist priest, Native American wedding bands, a Japanese Koto harp and a bagpipe procession.

The couple, both clad in white dinner jackets with black pants, made a grand entrance to the tune of One Singular Sensation from the Broadway musical
A Chorus Line. They stepped into a circle of yellow roses and lilies, where they shared a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and were wed by a Buddhist priest.

The couple, who have been together for 21 years, wrote their own vows.


Takei said he and Altman chose to make their wedding public — and have been outspoken gay-rights advocates for years — for the sake of democracy.

"We have a relationship that's been stronger and longer-lived than some of our straight friends, and yet we were not equal," Takei told The Associated Press before the ceremony. "What this does is give us that dignity; (it's) being part of the American system and being whole. We're making the American system whole as well, as America is becoming more equal."

Such activism is nothing new for Takei. He participated in the civil rights movement, served as a Democratic delegate in 1972 and fought for redress for those — like his own family — who were forced into internment camps after World War II.

"I grew up determined not to be marginalized," he said. "That served as an incentive for me to be proactive."

Click here for the rest.

Of course, while I totally dig the novelty that one of my favorite Star Trek characters, well, the actor who plays him anyway, is gay and is having one of those new fangled gay weddings, I'm particularly approving of Captain Sulu's politicization of it all. After all, whether we like to admit it or not, marriage is a political act: it is considered by most to be the basic building block of all human social structures, and the ceremony itself is the most self-consciously political aspect of marriage. A wedding is a declaration to all society that marriage, and by extension, family, is how we humans ought to organize ourselves. We assume it's political only when you throw in the millions of gays and lesbians who are clamoring for a seat at the social structure table, but, like I said, it's already political. Old Captain Sulu is just playing it up, to make people think, and rightfully so.

I'm also impressed by the cultural diversity incorporated into the ceremony, which is something that Becky and I tried to do with our wedding back in '01--okay, so our marriage didn't last, but we had one hell of a ceremony, and she and I are still pals, so we must have done something right.

Anyway, congrats to George and Brad. And keep on fighting the good fight. You know, I'm really beginning to think of Takei as something of a Real Artist for all his activism over the years. That's a very cool thing.