Higashi (left) and her partner Hiroko (right) showing their “Thank you” messages to Mickey Mouse at the Tokyo Disneyland in Urayasu.
JUST days after President Barack Obama came out in favour of gay marriage, another supporter of homosexual unions emerged in Japan: Mickey Mouse.
Despite their having no legal status, same sex couples are able to hold fairytale wedding ceremonies at hotels inside the popular Tokyo Disney Resort, including at the Cinderella Castle, a company spokeswoman said today.
News of the unions came to light when Koyuki Higashi, 27, inquired about marrying her female partner at the resort.
A member of staff who answered the call said there would be no problem with their marrying, provided they dressed “like a man and a woman”, Higashi wrote on her blog.
The staff member explained a same-sex wedding would create “repercussions” among visitors to the park if both brides were wearing wedding dresses or both grooms wore tuxedos, the blog added.
However, a few days later, the resort operator got back in touch to say their initial response had been wrong and gay couples were free to mix and match their attire.
“We have never refused an application for a same-sex wedding at hotels here,” a spokeswoman at Milial Resort Hotels, a subsidiary of Tokyo Disney Resort, told AFP today.
“One of our staff members was mistaken when explaining about outfits for a same-sex wedding,” she said.
But she added gay and lesbian couples were not allowed to exchange marriage vows at the onsite chapel “because of Christian teaching”.
Homosexuality in Japan is widely accepted but not openly discussed.
Last week Obama became the first sitting US president to openly back same-sex marriage, an issue that sharply divides America.