2 min

Celebrities who have officiated gay weddings

A look at some of the singers, actors and politicians who have become ministers in the name of love

Fran Drescher was married to a gay man for 21 years. Her divorce inspired her become a licensed minister. “You know I’d already married a gay man, so now I might as well marry a few gay men.”

Former president George HW Bush and his wife, Barbara, recently attended a same-sex wedding for their friends Helen and Bonnie. Bush, 89, was an official witness for the couple and was photographed signing their wedding document. 

Bush is not the first big name to take part in a same-sex wedding ceremony. In fact, quite a number of celebrities have officiated gay weddings.

Here’s our list. Click the photo above to view the photo gallery.

Fran Drescher

The funny lady, known for her trademark laugh, was married to a gay man for 21 years. After their divorce, Drescher remained close friends with her husband, and it inspired her to become a licensed minister. “You know I’d already married a gay man, so now I might as well marry a few gay men,” Drescher told The New York Times. Drescher has married several couples and plans to marry even more. “If things don’t work out in my career, I can always open up a little chapel in Vegas,” she says.

Joan Rivers

Ordained a mere week before the wedding, Rivers officiated for gay couple Preston Bailey and Theo Bleckmann in February 2013. The wedding had a King Kong theme and accordingly took place atop the Empire State Building in New York. In 2009, Rivers joked, “Gay marriage? I am so against it because all my gay friends are out. If they get married, it will cost me a fortune in gifts!”

Kathy Griffin

A huge advocate for LGBT rights, Griffin obtained her minister status in 2008 to officiate a wedding for fans of her show. Or rather, her assistant obtained the certificate for her. “My assistant, Tiffany, applied for the certificate on my behalf, and it took about five minutes,” Griffin told the New York Daily. In March 2013, Griffin used her status once more to renew the vows of a gay couple on her talk show Kathy. The couple had been together for more than 20 years.

Tori Spelling

In 2007, Beverly Hills star Tori Spelling officiated the wedding of two friends at her bed in breakfast in Fallbrook, California. Spelling brought her then-infant son, Liam, to the wedding and later wrote on her blog, "As I put Liam down to bed that evening I told him that he will one day find true love. A love that unites him as one with his soul mate. He will be raised knowing that true love is the ultimate and pure love know [sic] no age, gender, or race."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the first justice to officiate a same-sex wedding. On Aug 31, 2013, Ginsburg wed her friends Michael Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, and his partner, John Roberts.


Singer, writer, jewellery designer and . . . reverend? Kesha legally wed a lesbian couple back in June 2012. She tweeted, “So happy today animals! Don’t know if I told y'all but I'm an ordained minister and I’m marrying two of my best friends today!!! Wish me luck!!”

Lady Gaga

In 2011, the "Applause" singer announced she would become an ordained minister in order to officiate at the marriage of one of her friends (who is also her yoga instructor).

Benedict Cumberbatch

The sexy British star of the BBC’s Sherlock series, who is more recently known for his role as Star Trek’s villainous Khan, officiated a same-sex wedding for two of his friends. The ceremony took place in Ibiza, in the summer of 2013. Check out Xtra's video interview with Cumberbatch, in which he talks about officiating his friend's wedding. 

Sir Ian McKellen

Okay, so this wasn’t actually a gay wedding, but these two are so damn cute, they had to be included. The openly gay Sir Ian McKellen officiated the wedding of his best friend and X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell on Sept 7.