US: Singer Melissa Etheridge marries same-sex partner

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Singer and rights activist Melissa Etheridge has married her same-sex partner in a private ceremony.

The Oscar and Grammy-award winning rock singer, who came out as gay in 1993, married partner Linda Wallem in Montecito, California, on Saturday.

Guests reportedly included Rosie O’Donnell, Chelsea Handler, Whitney Cummings, Peter Facinelli and Sia.

According to Associated Press, the 53-year-old singer began dating Wallem, also 53, back in 2010.

Wallem is a co-creator of comedy-drama series ‘Nurse Jackie’, and the pair had first announced their decision to marry following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defence of Marriage Act last year.

Last year, Etheridge had said: “I look forward to exercising my American civil liberties and getting fully, completely and legally married this year to my true love of over three years, Linda Wallem.

“Once again our constitution stands strong. All men, and women, and everything in between are created equal.”

In December, Etheridge released Uprising to Love, a song in support of the Russian Freedom Fund, which helps Russian LGBT people facing homophobia.

Earlier this month, a bill to make marriage wording gender-neutral in California was passed by the state senate.

Following the re-introduction of same-sex marriage last year, the bill would remove that stipulation that marriage must be “between a man and a woman” from the state Family Code.

Instead, gender-neutral language would be used, defining marriage as a personal relation emerging from a civil contract between two persons.