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1 Aug 2011

Banquet for 400, lesbian wedding in Malaysia makes the news

A couple in their late twenties is said to be the first lesbian couple to publicly marry in Malaysia and have a wedding banquet for 400 guests, according to local media.

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A lesbian couple in Batu Pahat, a small town in the state of Johor, Malaysia made the news when the local media reported that the pair had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and wedding banquet for 400 guests on Saturday. (The tea ceremony is regarded to be a quintessential Chinese wedding tradition where the new couple serves the beverage to both sets of parents and elders of the family.)

The pair  identified in media reports only as Thomas, 29, and Apple, 27  has been dating for two years. Photo: Facebook

The pair – identified in media reports only as Thomas, 29, and Apple, 27 – has been dating for two years. Local Chinese language newspaper Sin Chew Daily reported on the wedding in great detail including the couple's courtship, wedding preparations, the bride's dowry and betrothal gifts, menu at the wedding banguet, and that the bride's mother had initially objected to the relationship but became eventually accepting.

Thomas and Apple have a publicly accessible Facebook page which has attracted over 6,000 "likes" on Monday, up from 630 as mentioned in the first newspaper report that appeared on Saturday.

The marriage is however not legally recognised as Malaysia has no provisions for same-sex marriages.


In a column "Blessing instead of approval" in Malaysia's Sin Chew Daily (originally written by Tay Tian Yan in Chinese and translated to English by Soong Phui Jee), Tay related that the newsroom had received many calls from readers who disapproved of the coverage of the same-sex wedding in the paper and were concerned that the wedding would set a precedence.

Tay wrote:

After receiving a large number of calls, a colleague asked me: "Do you agree with such kind of marriage?" 

Seemed like not answering the question, I said: "There is no opposition nor approval, but only blessing!"

...

"Mr" Thomas is 29 years old while Ms Apple is 27, instead of views and opinions from unrelated people, they are in a greater need of blessings. 

Some readers might ask: "It's better to keep gay or lesbian affairs low profile and why should they hold a wedding?" 

Getting married is a kind of courage and why must they keep a low profile? 

It is a kind of explanation to let others know about their affair. A wedding represents a commitment and responsibility and it demonstrates that even same sex couples are able to stay together till the end.

Malaysia

Reader's Comments

1. 2011-08-01 19:05
ONE STEP AHEAD!!! :)
2. 2011-08-01 19:14
Congratulations!
3. 2011-08-01 19:29
[quote]...many calls from readers who disapproved of the coverage of the same-sex wedding in the paper and were concerned that the wedding would set a precedence.[/quote]
What precedence?
Customary/religious weddings/marriages of any kind without the legal registrar's acknowledgement in this country have no legal recognition nor rights.

That's why they can get away with it as it's just another cultural event. Smart couple. Brilliant way to circumvent the law & convention without legal penalties.

Try registering at the National Registration Dept of Malaysia or the Assistant Registrar of Marriages and see...let the fireworks begin...

It's a similar old stunt by some people who use this similar customary wedding to get additional 'spouses' to avoid the penalty of bigamy (for non-Muslims) and those who consent with the perpetrator oft are ignorant of legal provisions thinking that it's a legal marriage until the time comes to claim estate rights only to find out that only the one with the legal recognition have the final claim.

All the best to this couple and may they enjoy a fruitful union.
4. 2011-08-01 19:52
Does not look like a same-sex wedding to me... One is wearing a wedding dress, the other a suit, one is called Thomas, the other Apple and #3 is even wishing them "a fruitful union".

Am I missing something?

;-p
Comment edited on 2011-08-01 19:53:30
5. 2011-08-01 19:54
My blessings to this newly wed couple :))
6. 2011-08-01 20:15
congrats and blessings to them both...one who looks like a woman and one who looks like a man....both, perhaps playing traditional ROLES (in the photo), but roles that make them happy: and life SHOULD BE fun and happy.
7. 2011-08-01 21:02
Muchas Felicitaciones a las dos!!! Congratulations!!!
8. 2011-08-01 21:04
Congratulation!!
9. 2011-08-01 22:55
I really feel glad for the couple. but do you think the malaysian government will be fine with it??
10. 2011-08-02 00:00
How extraordinary that a journalist asks whether the newspaper agrees with what is reported. What kind of journalist . Educated ? Does the paper print a report about rape or murder ? Does that imply acceptance or agreement ? Dear Journalist...go get a life...It is NEWS !!!
Does the Malaysian government go into people's bedrooms ? No problem for two people of the same sex to " love" each other . It is a Chinese traditional ' wedding ' , nothing to do with the Islamic government. In Indonesia they could be be arrested by the dictatorship of Islamic groups simply for wearing trousers !! Countries which have Islamic people must ensure that the Law requires them to behave with justice and eqaulity for all...not prisons for thei adherents ! The USA and France have made tentative steps in this direction...
11. 2011-08-02 00:00
aaawwww How Sweet...
12. 2011-08-02 00:00
How extraordinary that a journalist asks whether the newspaper agrees with what is reported. What kind of journalist . Educated ? Does the paper print a report about rape or murder ? Does that imply acceptance or agreement ? Dear Journalist...go get a life...It is NEWS !!!
Does the Malaysian government go into people's bedrooms ? No problem for two people of the same sex to " love" each other . It is a Chinese traditional ' wedding ' , nothing to do with the Islamic government. In Indonesia they could be be arrested by the dictatorship of Islamic groups simply for wearing trousers !! Countries which have Islamic people must ensure that the Law requires them to behave with justice and eqaulity for all...not prisons for their adherents ! The USA and France have made tentative steps in this direction...
13. 2011-08-02 03:26
Well done, you brave women!!
14. 2011-08-02 03:27
Well done, you brave women!!
15. 2011-08-02 04:09
Dear #4

"Does not look like a same-sex wedding to me... One is wearing a wedding dress, the other a suit, one is called Thomas, the other Apple and #3 is even wishing them "a fruitful union". Am I missing something?"

How a same-sex wedding should look like? I'm sure many here wanna to know your view. I am Canadian, we always have same-sex wedding, many types as you can imagine. So far, no specific type become a norm. Canada was the first English speaking country to legalize gay marriage and remain the only one until today.

Does it really matter how it should look like? Who cares? As long as they are happy, it can be nude too. lol Right?

You are missing an open mindset. That's all. Give them blessing isn't of questioning their wedding suit or dress. right?
16. 2011-08-02 04:43

To #15. yay for Canada! I totally agree with you. I was about to give #4 some points about same sex marriage but well, you did my job.
17. 2011-08-02 06:11
Hi #16

Thanks. Sometimes I can't stand for people who are heading to a complete opposite direction of an issue. This was a very happy occasion for this couple. He was questioning about their wedding suit and dress. lol What was going on in his mind? lol He is a typical British bullier. Not all British people are bad but few bad apples will make u feel so sick.

By the way, I have been Peterborough. A nice small city. Well, not many Asians living there. When u come to Toronto, let me know. Well, I usually busy during weekday. Work Work Work as usual. lol
18. 2011-08-02 07:57
wishing you are both happily ever and after... :D
when is going to be my turn? lols....
19. 2011-08-02 09:26
congratulations and many many more weddings to come from others!!

20. 2011-08-02 09:56
Congratulations! You have our blessing!!!
21. 2011-08-02 09:56
wow, how courageous!!! BRAVO & CONGRATS!!! *thumbs up* (^__^)b
22. 2011-08-02 09:58
Congratulations !
23. 2011-08-02 10:52
I've always known that women have more balls than men ... from Stonewall to Thomas Apple (how cute the names!) YOU GO GIRL FRIENDS!!!!!
24. 2011-08-02 11:42
BRAVO!!!! Thomas & apples. How many straight couples remember the vows they've told their spouse during their wedding ceremony all those years ago? Have they fulfilled what they’ve vowed to do on that special day?

We may not have what the straight couples have but what we have is the heart and soul of our relationship are our vows to each other.

Lister well my dear straight people out there irregardless of our sexual orientation WE'RE human beings just like you & me.
25. 2011-08-02 11:56
My blessing to Thomas and Apple and all those are in the line of doing it. All the best.
26. 2011-08-02 12:15
Congratulation!! And wish them all the best!!
27. 2011-08-02 15:16
Congratulations to you both ! You both make a great couple ! Best wishes to you & best of luck !
28. 2011-08-02 16:50
Congratulations !! and wish them to have lots of babies...!!
29. 2011-08-02 19:20
@10/12: you seem to have missed the point.

"Tay wrote:

After receiving a large number of calls, a colleague asked me: "Do you agree with such kind of marriage?"

Seemed like not answering the question, I said: "There is no opposition nor approval, but only blessing!"

...

"Mr" Thomas is 29 years old while Ms Apple is 27, instead of views and opinions from unrelated people, they are in a greater need of blessings.

Some readers might ask: "It's better to keep gay or lesbian affairs low profile and why should they hold a wedding?"

Getting married is a kind of courage and why must they keep a low profile?

It is a kind of explanation to let others know about their affair. A wedding represents a commitment and responsibility and it demonstrates that even same sex couples are able to stay together till the end."

I don't know about the newspaper, but the journalist was actually supportive!
30. 2011-08-02 19:21
yes.... u guys will have my blessing....
31. 2011-08-02 19:49
It is blessed to have open minded family members who accept who they are.

Thank you to their family for open minded. I think their family also will be gossiped by who else know them
32. 2011-08-02 20:36
lovely wedding....i wish i could have 1 too...
33. 2011-08-02 20:45
I went to one like it in the mid 70's it was hilarious, mainly as they actually meant it.. the bride turned up in traditional audacious white ( I mean really who is a virgin in the gay world by that time) and the other bride turned up as a well.. bloody groom... added to that most the guests were Gay Liberation Activists/commies and the priest was a transvestite from the metropolitan community church and there was a hell of a lot of sniggers when the bride got out of the wedding dressed mini with the groom
Comment edited on 2011-08-02 20:50:01
34. 2011-08-02 22:37
It seems as if some of the guys here are obsessed with playing the fashion police and what a lesbian couple is supposed to wear at THEIR own wedding. Seriously what is it to you all? Is the concept of butch lesbian new to all you (veteran) gay men?
35. 2011-08-02 23:14
Congratulations.
36. 2011-08-02 23:20
Congratulations on your wedding. May it be blessed with much joy and love.

And those mfsob gay men who thinks its not a union of sort just because one is wearing a suit and the other a dress [*double facepalm], grow up. Or watch Ellen. It's so funny you pass judgement so fast on others and you would expect others to respect your rights?
37. 2011-08-03 01:00
Congratulation!! !!!!
38. 2011-08-03 03:47
that's brave esp here in closetted malaysia
and congratulations.
39. 2011-08-03 06:31
congratz on the wonderful union and bless your hearts...
also thank you for standing out there braving all the critisms and negative remarks from all the unworthy people that doesn't know what love is.
quoting the quote - marriage is not a heterosexual privilege, it is a basic human rights!!!!

salute
40. 2011-08-03 10:31
I wish the 2 of you all the very best.. very happy for you.

Question - was a public event like this really necessary? Taking into account all that has taken place in Malaysia - where politicians have no hesitation in using religion, 'morality' to gain the upper hand over their opponents, & to whip up emotions & peoples' basest instincts, to a feeding frenzy?

Ideals are good... but I think personal security of gays & lesbians is also a major consideration, especially in a volatile environment like M'sia.
41. 2011-08-03 12:11
my sincere blessings to both of you. :)
42. 2011-08-03 16:07
You guys have my blessings! I do hope you guys last forever.

Hope we can have a first glbt wedding in Singapore soon!
43. 2011-08-05 09:38
I think this is great. Blessings to the couple. And there have been private gay weddings in Singapore over the years. In fact more couples should do it. Just coz we are not accepted legally to marry doesn't mean we cannot stand up in front of friends n family to take our vows.
Comment #44 was deleted by its author on 2011-08-05 09:39
45. 2011-08-05 12:32
This is not the first gay wedding in Malaysia. Remember the gay couple who were wedded in Kucing, Sarawak? Who say gays cannot get married in MALAYSIA?
46. 2011-08-05 19:20
They look so happy, I wish them them happiness and long life together.
47. 2011-08-06 19:21
To #4 I echo #15's comment because the ritual of a Chinese wedding is such and at the end of the day they are both happy and it has v. little to do with their fashion preference.

In fact, all Chinese weddings come with this popular saying of 'fruitful union' as in Jews with the saying of 'mazeltov'. You will need to read this from an Asian context. There is clearly a misinterpretation of cultural norms and the local psyche here.
48. 2011-08-07 17:34
They have the "balls" to do it. Gays? Hmmm...

Anyway, my heartiest congratulations to them both. My hats of to them. :)
49. 2011-08-11 18:31
Brave women..smart couple to marry their own way within current circumstances..yeah, dress their own ways too..it can be 2 wedding dresses or 2 wedding suits, doesnt matter..well done! (pls contact me if they need a donor for their offspring - just as Penny Wong & Sopie of Australia have just done!) :)
50. 2011-08-13 13:07
Blessings to Thomas and Apple. So brave and sincere it's touching :')
51. 2011-08-23 10:06
congratz to both of them and God bless ! This is it, one step forward towards the blessing and approval of LGBT communities in Malaysia. We want blessing, not just approval ! Go for it !!!

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