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15 Visions of Marriage Equality in Entertainment

15 Visions of Marriage Equality in Entertainment

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Pop culture's take on same-sex marriage has been groundbreaking, moving, and often hilarious.

As we anticipate the Supreme Court's upcoming ruling on marriage equality, here's a look back at how mainstream popular media has contributed to preparing our culture for the inevitable reality of same-sex marriage.

Golden Girls
"Sister of the Bride" (1991)

The first network sitcom episode to address same-sex marriage follows the struggles of Blanche (Rue McClanahan) to accept the fact that her brother (Monte Markham) is gay -- and plans to marry his partner.

Roc
"Can't Help Loving That Man" (1991)

This series about an African-American family starred Charles S. Dutton. In this episode, his uncle (Shaft's Richard Roundtree) comes out as gay. The family's struggle to accept him culminates with Roc hosting the wedding ceremony in his home.

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Roseanne
"December Bride" (1995)

In Roseanne Barr's irreverent sitcom, Martin Mull's recurring character, Leon, marries his boyfriend, Scott (Fred Willard) -- but Roseanne's aesthetic in planning the wedding isn't quite what he'd hoped for.

Friends
"The One With the Lesbian Wedding" (1996)

Ross's ex-wife, Carol (Jane Sibbett), marries her lesbian life partner, Susan (Jessica Hecht) -- as Phoebe is possessed by the spirit of her recently deceased massage client Rose Adelman.

The Authority
Volume 1, number 29 (2002)
Wildstorm Comics brought readers the first same-sex wedding in a mass-market comic when gay superheroes Midnighter and Apollo tied the knot in this groundbreaking issue.
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Queer as Folk
"The Wedding" & "Proposal of Two Kinds" (2002 & 2004)
Lindsay (Thea Gill) and Melanie (Michelle Clunie) had the first same-sex wedding on cable TV, and the series would eventually lead Michael (Hal Sparks) and Ben (Robert Gant) down the aisle in 2004.

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The Simpsons
"There's Something About Marrying" (2005)
In this landmark episode, Marge's sister Patty comes out as gay, and Homer becomes an online ordained minister -- to go into the business of performing same-sex weddings. With same-sex marriage legal in Springfield, they launch an ad campaign to promote it.

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Brothers & Sisters
"Prior Commitments" (2008)

Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys) weds his boyfriend, Scotty (Luke Macfarlane), becoming the first major gay character in a prime-time network series to marry.

All My Children (2009)
American daytime television's first same-sex wedding was between Erica Kane's daughter Bianca (Eden Riegel) and her girlfriend, Reese (Tamara Braun).

Grey's Anatomy (2011)
Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) became the first regular lesbian characters on a prime-time network series to walk down the aisle.

Conan O'Brien (2011)
The talk show host broke new ground by performing an on-air marriage ceremony for his costume designer, Scott Cronick, and Cronick's partner, David Gorshein.


Astonishing X-Men
Number 51 (2012)
Twenty years after he became the first out gay superhero in mass-market comics history, Northstar was at the center of another first in the Marvel Comics universe when he married his boyfriend, Kyle, in Astonishing X-Men number 51 in 2012.

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Saturday Night Live
"Stefon's Farewell" (2013)

Gay club kid Stefon (Bill Hader) makes a spectacular exit from SNL, which includes an interrupted wedding, surprise guest stars, and a stunning revelation about his relationship with "Weekend Update" anchor Seth Meyers.
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Modern Family
"The Wedding" Parts 1 & 2 (2014)
In this two-episode season finale, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as they struggle to walk down the aisle in the wedding of their dreams.

Days of Our Lives (2014)
Will (Chandler Massey) and Sonny (Freddie Smith) became the first gay male couple to wed on an American daytime soap opera.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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