On This Gay Day: Marriage equality was passed in England

Marriage Equality was passed by the House of Lords in England

Marriage equality in England and Wales reached a milestone on this day ion 2013 when the House of Lords passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

The Queen gave the bill its royal ascent two days later, and the first same-sex weddings were allowed to proceed on the 29th March 2014.

In the 1980s polls in Britain showed that the majority of people were against homosexuality, but by 2003 the polls were not only showing widespread acceptance on the LGBTIQ+ communities, the majority of Britons also put their support behind same sex marriage.

In 2005 Civil Partnerships were introduced for same-sex couples, but Tony Blair’s Labour government stressed that they were not marriages.

British Prime Minister David Cameron had voiced his support for changing the laws ahead of the 2010 General Election.

The introduction of marriage equality in England and Wales also allowed for the recognition of same-sex marriages that had occurred overseas, provided a pathway for people with Civil Partnerships to classify their union as a marriage, and allowed for people to change their gender without having to seek a divorce first.

Statistics have shown that around 7,000 same-sex marriages occur in England each year, the rate has been consistent since the laws were changed.

Fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered on this day in 1997

The world was shocked when Italian Fashion Designer Gianni Versace was shot on the steps of his Miami home.

In 1997, 27 year old Andrew Cunanan traveled across America on a four month killing spree, during which he murdered at least five people. On July 15th he shot and killed fashion designer Gianni Versace on the steps of his Florida mansion. Versace had been returning from a morning walk.

Police have never been able to work out what motivated Cunanan to commit the murders, which robbed the world of one the most distinctive designers.

Versace launched his fashion business in 1978 and by the time of his death it had growth to encompass 130 stores across the world, and was worth over $800 million. He worked closely with celebrities including Elton John, Madonna, Elton John and supermodels Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell.

His life story, and that of his murder Andrew Cunanan were dramatised in the miniseries The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

After his death his sister Donatella took over as the main designer as The House of Versace. In 2019 the company was sold to Capri Holdings, the company behind Michael Kors, but Donatella stayed on as it’s Chief Creative Officer.  

In 2003 we said hello to the Fab 5 from Queer Eye

Makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makes it’s debut on US television on this day in 2003. The show sees a team of gay men provide makeovers to badly dressed straight men.

The ‘Fab 5’ are an instant hit and the show is soon being watched around the globe.

The cast members were Food Guy – Ted Allen, Grooming Guru – Kyan Douglas, Design Doctor – Thom Filicia, Fashion Savant – Carson Kressley, and Culture Vulture – Jai Rodriguez. Between 2003 and 2007 they filmed 90 episodes of the series.

Since the show went off the air Kressley has moved on to host the US version of How To Look Good Naked, hosted the series Get a Room alongside Filicia, been a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and been a contestant of Dancing With The Stars.  Plus he’s appeared on the Australian version of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

Rodriguez returned to acting appearing in the Broadway production of The Producers, and popping up on TV shows including Nip/Tuck, Bones, How I Met Your Mother and Kingdom. He also appears in the music video for Telephone by Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

Filicia has continued to work as a much sought after interior designer and has published several books. Douglas went on to host the TV series Ten Years Younger, and Allen has authored several books and hosted television programs. All of the original members recently reunited for an episode of the TV show Reunion Road Trip. 

The show led to a spin-off Queer Eye for the Straight Girl which featured thee gay men and a lesbian tackling the fashion and lifestyle problems of straight girls.

There was also an Australian version of the show, launched in February 2005 it had five Aussie hosts Ryan Andrijich, Will Fennell, Brendan Wong, Ty Henschke and Liston Williams. The show was not successful and was axed after its third episode. A total of six episodes were filmed, and Channel Ten played the remaining episodes later in the year.

Many countries tried to copy the success of the original Fab 5 with versions being produced in Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. None of them were as successful as the original.

Alongside the show’s initial screen success, they also found love on the music charts with the soundtrack to the series being a best seller. It hit the Australian Top 10 in 2004 and the show’s theme tune All Things (Just Keep Getting Better) was a hit too.

In 2018 a new version of the show, with the short title Queer Eye made stars of a new generation of fabulous presenters including Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk and Jonathan Van Ness.

OIP Staff, this post was first published in 2021.

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