For George Takei, being able to say that he is legally married has influenced how others perceive his relationship.
Takei, a strong proponent of gay marriage who opposes California’s Proposition 8, which would only recognize marriage in California as being between a man and a woman, spoke about the controversial proposition and what legal marriage has done for himself and his husband Brad Altman.
Being legally married, aside from any legal rights, made a difference when it came to something so simple as being introduced to new people. “What it did,” explained Takei, “I think it affected the people we know, acquaintances, more when introducing us, there was some awkwardness in introducing us as a couple. Now they introduce Brad as my husband or me as Brad’s husband because it’s legal. I think legality adds a whole different standard to our relationship.”
Takei has received warm support from the Trek community when he’s spoken to them in person, such as at conventions, which contrasts with some emails that people have sent to him that are not supportive. “Last week, I did a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas,” he said, “and when I talked about our marriage — thunderous applause! … None [of the negative feedback e-mails] stick out. They’re all very alike, very similar. It’s all, ‘The Bible this,’ and, ‘tradition that.’ … It’s not worth responding to. They will pay attention to current events, and ultimately they will be educated. Because that’s the same kind of letters that my aunt got when she got married to my uncle.'”
In September, Takei and Altman will celebrate their second wedding anniversary.