Ellen Degeneres Announces Plans To Marry Portia De Rossi (VIDEO)
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Ellen DeGeneres is putting the California Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage into action _ she and Portia de Rossi plan to wed, DeGeneres announced during a taping of her talk show.
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DeGeneres was taping the episode of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Thursday, the day the state's high court struck down California laws against gay marriage, and it was to air Friday, a person close to the production said.
The person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Citing the court's ruling, DeGeneres said she and girlfriend de Rossi ("Ally McBeal," "Nip/Tuck") would be getting married.
De Rossi, 35, who was in the studio, and DeGeneres, 50, were applauded by audience members, the person close to the production said.
Calls and e-mails late Thursday to DeGeneres' publicist were not immediately returned.
The court ruling means same-sex couples could tie the knot in as little as a month. However, religious and social conservatives are seeking to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would undo the Supreme Court ruling and ban gay marriage.
DeGeneres has boldly used TV before to make a stand for gay rights.
In 1997, she brought her character on the ABC sitcom "Ellen" out of the closet, making the show the first on prime-time network TV to have an openly gay lead. The move drew cheers from gay civil rights organizations but was condemned by some religious groups.
A month before, DeGeneres had proclaimed from the cover of Time magazine that she was a lesbian.
DeGeneres and the glamorous de Rossi have been a familiar couple at Hollywood events, including the Academy Awards. Previously, DeGeneres had a high-profile relationship with actress Anne Heche.
In a 2005 interview with Allure magazine, the comedian said she hoped she and de Rossi are "together the rest of our lives."
"I never would have thought my life would have turned out this way," DeGeneres told the magazine. "To have money. Or to have a gorgeous girlfriend. I just feel so lucky with everything in my life right now."