Wedding weekend for Etheridge and Michaels
Melissa Etheridge marries in California
Out rocker Melissa Etheridge exchanged vows on Saturday with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels in a private ceremony in Malibu, Calif. (Photo by Mikel Healey)
Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge announced Monday that she married her girlfriend on Saturday in a private ceremony in Malibu, Calif. Etheridge, 41, exchanged vows with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, 28, in front of family and friends in what was described in a press release as an "intimate ceremony."
While California recognizes domestic partnerships between people of the same sex, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the state, as it is throughout the United States. Etheridge and Michaels nevertheless characterize their union as a marriage and the ceremony as a wedding. As domestic partners under California law, they will have nominal partnership rights until 2005, when a new state law will grant domestic partners many of the rights of married heterosexual couples.
According to a spokesperson, Etheridge and Michaels both "wore designs by Badgley Mischka. Etheridge wore a custom-made candlelight pantsuit of a linen jacket with beaded accent and crepe trousers. Michaels wore a white lace coat with crystal-embellished scalloped trim over a white matte jersey gown. Rafinity designed the two identical custom-made platinum and diamond wedding bands. Moet & Chandon champagne flowed throughout the reception as guests toasted the newlyweds. Los Angeles-based wedding planner Jeffrey Best of Best Events planned the wedding."
In a joint statement, the couple said, "We are so grateful for the blessings from our friends and family as we commence our vows and begin the rest of our lives together."
Etheridge shared a 12-year partnership with director Julie Cypher, with whom she parented two children. That relationship ended in 2000. According to Etheridge's spokesperson, Etheridge's union with Michaels is "the first domestic partnership for both." The couple will continue to share a home in Los Angeles with Etheridge's two children.
Two-time Grammy award winner Etheridge will release her as-yet-untitled eighth studio album for Island Records in January, and Michaels, best known for her role on the series Popular, will next be seen in a recurring role in the pay-cable lesbian-centered drama The L Word, debuting in January on Showtime.