Same-sex couples in Japan may not be able to tie the knot legally, but they now can hold a commitment ceremony at one of the happiest places on earth -- Tokyo Disney.
It all started when 27-year-old bride Koyuki Higashi contacted Tokyo Disney Resort and inquired about marrying her partner, Hiroko, there.
According to a report from AFP, a member of the resort staff told Higashi that she could absolutely marry her girlfriend at Disney. The couple visited the resort on May 5 to deliver thanks Mickey Mouse himself for welcoming them, Japanese newspaper Mainichi Daily reports. "We are a couple. We came to express our gratitude," the pair told Mickey.
On Tuesday, a company spokeswoman confirmed to AFP that gay couples are indeed able to hold wedding ceremonies at hotels inside the Tokyo Disney Resort.
"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.
But while same-sex pairs are allowed to wed in the Japanese resort's many hotels -- including the famous fairytale-themed Cinderella Castle -- they aren't currently allowed to exchange vows in the onsite chapel "because of Christian teaching," the Disney spokeswoman said.
In the U.S., same-sex couples have been allowed to hold commitment ceremonies at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in Southern California for years.
And although Disney had previously limited its pricey "Fairy Tale Wedding" package -- which includes a ceremony at one of the parks' marriage pavilions, costumed characters at the reception, and a ride in a horse-drawn, glass-enclosed carriage through the Disney property -- to couples with valid marriage licenses, the company changed its policy in April 2007 to include couples entering civil partnerships after an inquiry from a gay guest.
According to The Washington Post, gay couples can take advantage of the "Fairy Tale Wedding" package at Disney's U.S. theme parks and aboard its cruise ships, even if the ceremony is not technically legal.
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