Getting Hitched: Lesbian Weddings in Film and TV

Whoopi:
"Don’t Hide Love" (2004)

Whoopi came and
went on the television scene in just a few months, probably because 2004 wasn’t
ready for its bombastic anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war comedy. It starred comedian
Whoopi Goldberg as a has-been singer now running an unsuccessful hotel in New York City. Shortly
before the show aired its final episode, Whoopi let her lesbian cousin get
married at the hotel.

Viewers seem to be
experiencing some buyer’s remorse at the show’s failure, and rumors surface
from time to time about a DVD release, but for now, the episode is not
available anywhere, and it’s unclear whether or not the wedding was actually
shown in the episode.

The Simpsons:
"There’s Something About Marrying" (2005)

This episode of Fox’s animated
series The Simpsons
would have made the list even if all it contained was Marge’s sister, Patty,
coming out as a lesbian and announcing her plans to marry her girlfriend — even
if she did call it off when she found out her bride was a man in disguise.

But that wasn’t
all. In typical over-the-top Simpsons style, the town of Springfield
fights against having been tagged the "least desirable" place to live
in America by turning to the burgeoning same-sex wedding market and trying to
capture some queer tourist dollars for themselves. Homer converts the family
garage into a same-sex wedding chapel, and starts each ceremony with the
phrase, "Queerly beloved …"

Marge has some serious
issues with her sister’s lesbianism when Patty finally tells her she’s a
lesbian, responding to Marge’s disbelief by saying, "You could see it from
space!" (There was also the poster of Miss Hathaway from The Beverly
Hillbillies
that Patty had as a child.)

In a stirring plea for
her sister’s understanding, Patty says, "Marge, if you can find it in your
heart to accept me for who I am, I would love to see you at the wedding."
With indomitable spirit, however, she adds, "If not, I’ll see you at Homer’s
funeral."

Marge discovers that Patty’s
girlfriend, Veronica, is actually a man who pretended to be a woman in order to
join the LPGA tour, but she doesn’t tell Patty. Only when Patty’s vows at the
altar — well, in the Simpson’s garage-turned-wedding-chapel, anyway — make her
realize that her sister genuinely loves "Veronica" does she speak up.

There are a million
things to love about this episode, including the fact that it exists at all,
but viewers would have to be seriously in denial to miss the message of
acceptance and inclusion, delivered with the trademark Simpsons snark. The Simpsons
is also the longest-running television series in history, and it’s significant
that producers chose to make a series regular a lesbian instead of having a very
special guest appearance by the voice of someone like Rosie O’Donnell.

Cable Television

Cable is surprisingly
short on same-sex weddings in scripted television, especially ones that
actually end up making it all the way to "I do." In fact, if it weren’t
for Queer as Folk and a single episode of the Canadian series Degrassi:
The Next Generation
, there wouldn’t even be one, although Shane and Carmen
got pretty close in Season 3 of The L
Word
.

Queer as Folk

Probably known better for
putting the "sex" rather than "wedding" into "same-sex,"
Queer as Folk actually had quite a few weddings, proposals, planned
weddings and wedding rings — and one incredibly romantic wedding night.

Since the show’s male
characters started out with a profound aversion to any form of romantic
commitment, the series’ first wedding was that of the show’s only lesbian
couple, Melanie (Michelle Clunie) and Lindsay (Thea Gill), who marched down the
aisle two seasons before any of the commitment-phobic male characters so much
as contemplated the deed.

While there’s a certain
amount of stereotyping involved in making the only lesbian story lines on the
most sexed-out show in TV history revolve mostly around weddings and babies, Melanie
and Lindsay’s struggle to define their relationship in contrast to Lindsay’s upper-crust
parents and their promiscuous gay male friends is actually pretty nuanced.

 

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