Love Is In The New Zealand Air, By Dan Littauer

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July 18, 2013
5:22 p.m.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Air New Zealand will be hosting the country’s first gay marriage ceremony, on a plane in mid-air, when it becomes legal next month.

The airline is looking for a couple to tie the knot at an altitude of 30,000 feet (9,000 meters), on a flight between Queenstown and Auckland on Monday, August 19, saying it wants to prove that love is truly in the air.

The couple will be hosted by Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson, as marriage equality campaigner, along with his partner, Justin Mikita.

“Justin and I are thrilled to be taking part in witnessing this historic moment for New Zealand,” he said in a statement.

“After launching ‘Tie the Knot,’ our bow tie campaign for marriage equality in the U.S., it is clear that the journey towards marriage, both in the U.S. and beyond, means so much to us.”

The out-gay TV star is due to wed Justin Mitka in New York this month.

Air New Zealand launched a competition Wednesday for prospective couples from around the world for the mid-air wedding event.

Commenting on the event, Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand’s head of global brand development, said: “Naturally, the couple’s family and friends will want to be on hand for the special occasion, so we have plenty of seats set aside for them.”

After the couple says “I do,” they’ll be treated to a honeymoon vacation at Palm Springs in the United States, courtesy of Air New Zealand.

New Zealand’s House of Representatives voted for marriage equality in April by 77 votes to 44.

It will be the first country in Oceania and the 15th in the world to legalize gay marriage.

Couples who want to enter the competition can complete their details at www.flyingsocialnetwork.com before July 26.

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBT current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism.

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