Being Buddhist, Being Gay — George Takei
January 14, 2015 2:06 PM Subscribe
When the Supreme Court of the State of California ruled for marriage equality in 2008, we seized the opportunity. Having founded the Japanese American National Museum (I’m still a trustee on the Board there), we wanted to have our wedding there, in the “Democracy Forum” building. It was, after all, democracy that made our formal union possible. And Brad too had embraced Buddhism by now, so it could be a Buddhist wedding. We chose Rev. Briones of the Nishi Hongwanji Temple to be our officiant because he personifies Buddhism’s diversity, being that he’s a Mexican American Buddhist minister.
Walter Koenig, who appeared on Star Trek with me, as Chekhov, is a particularly good friend so we asked him to be the best man. Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on Star Trek, was to be the Matron of Honor — but she didn’t like the word matron. “If Walter can be the best man,” she asked, “why can’t I be the best lady?” And so our best man was Jewish American, our best lady was African American, and our guests in the Democracy Forum were greeted by a gifted player playing traditional koto music—with a bagpipe piper leading us out onto the Museum Plaza across to the Pavilion building and the Great Hall for our wedding dinner. It was a joyous occasion, a very diverse one, and singularly a Buddhist wedding.
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