Koyuki Higashi always loved Tokyo Disneyland and wanted to have her wedding there, with the Disney Royal Dream Wedding package and a reception following at the Cinderella Castle attended by Disney characters.
The only hitch was, according to Olivier Fabre’s recent Reuters article, Higashi and her partner are lesbians. While there are no laws against homosexuality per se in Japan, civil unions are not legally allowed, and homosexuality is generally taboo—keeping a majority of gays and lesbians in the closet.
Higashi’s request made national news, and it is being dubbed the the first ‘gay wedding’ to be held at Japan’s Magic Kingdom. Higashi commented, “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.” A spokeswoman at Millal Resort Hotels (a subsidiary of Tokyo Disney Resort) later told Higashi they would both be allowed to wear wedding dresses or tuxedos. Higashi, a gay activist and blogger, said she hoped her decision would help open public conversation about an issue that has yet to be broadly discussed socially as well as politically in her country.
“Public conversation…Broadly discussed.” These issues are at the heart of Question One, Joe Fox’s documentary of the 2009 race concerning an amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Maine’s state constitution. (It passed, 53-47) “What the film does not portray is a loss per se,” stresses Fox, “but how the other side won”–a textbook, if you will, in which we in Minnesota, engaged in our own referendum struggle, “get to see what we are up against, strategies, and tactics. [We] need to see how other side won in order to get angry, to step up to plate to do everything we can to win in November.”
We need, as Fox urges, to talk, to have as many one-on-one conversations we can with as many people as possible. He posits “Two real factors: that we need to keep having conversations and to re-energize our base and allies,” adding, “A third factor is that sometimes we soft-pedal our counter actions; we also need to go for the jugular–campaigns are not always fair.”