By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com September 13 2013 6:31 PM ET
The reality competition show Four Weddings and a Challenge has produced the first-ever broadcast of a same-sex wedding from Romania.
The Romanian edition of ITV Studios’ international franchise Thursday featured the wedding of two theater directors, Daniel, 35, and Mihai, 34. The ceremony, with a Midsummer Night’s Dream theme, took place by a lake near Bucharest, reports LGBT rights group ACT-Q Romania. A Metropolitan Community Church minister officiated.
On the show, four couples compete to have the best ceremony, attending one another’s weddings and rating them, with the winner receiving a dream honeymoon. The program originated in the United Kingdom and now has versions produced in 19 locales around the world, including the U.S. The U.S. program, on TLC, included a lesbian couple last year and recently put out a casting call for a gay male couple. Same-sex couples have also been featured on the U.K. and Canadian editions.
Same-sex marriages have no legal standing in Romania, but Daniel and Mihai decided to make a statement by sharing their wedding with audiences, according to an ACT-Q press release. Right-wing groups tried to prevent the broadcast of the episode with their ceremony, but Romania’s Pro TV went ahead and aired it. It received high ratings, the best in its time slot, and many viewers posted positive comments about it online, ACT-Q reports.