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Monday, 14th May 2012
In General Japan News,

Tokyo Disney Resort opens door to gay weddings

Tokyo Disney Resort scored a PR coup after officials revealed that same-sex wedding ceremonies can take place at the popular theme park in the Japanese capital.

Various hotels and attractions at the resort will now be available to same-sex couples looking to tie the knot, following a campaign by the 27-year-old gay rights activist Koyuki Higashi.

The Mainichi Daily reported that Ms Higashi got in touch with the theme park to see whether recently announced plans to host weddings at the iconic Disney castle would be applicable to gay couples.

Officials at the resort initially said that one partner would have to wear a groom's outfit as "other visitors will be watching", leading to anger on social networking site Twitter after Ms Higashi tweeted their response.

Following consultation with its counterpart in the US, however, the park announced that same-sex couples could indeed wear the same clothing at their ceremony.

"Even though same-sex marriages are not legally permitted, we reached the decision that wedding ceremonies can take place," a resort official told the news provider.

This reversal immediately led to praise on Twitter, with a flood of positive tweets congratulating the theme park on its positive stance.

The announcement also coincided with a statement from US president Barack Obama's giving his backing to the legalisation of same-sex marriages in the States.

Campaigners are still fighting to have gay marriage legalised in Japan, but the fact that a major corporation such as Disney have given it their blessing has been widely praised.

Commenting on the decision, Ms Higashi told a Mainichi Daily journalist: "Japan still lacks favourable projects when it comes to sexual minorities, but the fact that Disney took this stance publicly means a lot."

Ms Higashi's 34-year-old girlfriend Hiroko gave the decision her blessing.

"I guess that they anticipated claims, but chose to go with the decision nevertheless, which makes me very happy," she said.

Tokyo Disney Resort comprises two different theme parks, Disneyland and DisneySea.

Written by Graham McPherson

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