200 guests and several members of the press turned out to witness 38-year-old Tin Ko Ko and 28-year-old Myo Min Htet exchange nuptials at Excel Tower in Yango on March 2. It was the first-ever public same-sex commitment ceremony in the conservative Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar.
Clad in matching traditional Myanmar clothing and Burmese turbans, and festooned with jasmine, the two men, who have been together for 10 years and who both work for gay rights organizations, walked down the aisle along with six groomsmen.
The wedding was a gutsy move on the grooms’ parts. Homosexuality is still considered taboo in Myanmar. Same-sex relationships are illegal under section 377 of the nation’s colonial-era penal code, which bans “unnatural sex acts,” although the law is not strictly enforced.
In interviews with Myanmar media, the couple said they initially feared protesters might try to crash the ceremony, but their desire to publicly declare their love for one another and set a positive example for other same-sex couples in their country outweighed those concerns.
“We both tried hard to make this a reality,” Myo Min Htet told guests at the reception. “I am almost speechless, I am so happy.”
Wedding guests erupted into applause when the grooms kissed after cutting into a red heart-shaped cake.
Up next on the couple’s agenda: Adopting children together.
Scroll down to see pictures from the happy day.