Sherri Sam and Teri Polo
ABC Family's The Fosters makes history Monday (9/8c) when lesbian moms Stef (Teri Polo) and Lena (Sherri Saum) get hitched in TV's first gay wedding since the demise of DOMA. But the happy event was going to happen with or without the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on gay marriage. According to exec producers Peter Paige and Bradley Bredeweg, the ceremony was planned from the get-go, even though the series is set in California where, until June, same-sex unions were not recognized as legal.
"We knew the Supreme Court would likely make its decision before we shot [the episode]," says Paige, who is best known for his five-year run as Emmett on Queer as Folk. "If they had ruled the other way we would have still gone ahead — only with an f--k you wedding! But because the Court did rule the way it did, it was an even more resonant celebration."
And how's this for synchronicity? The wedding was being filmed on the Warner Bros. lot just as Proposition 8 plaintiffs, Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo, were tying the knot at Los Angeles City Hall. "The timing was crazy," says Bredeweg. "All of us behind the cameras were in tears celebrating two great moments. It was a beautiful day."
Stef and Lena will be joined at the nuptials by their raucous brood of biological, adopted and foster kids, as well as Stef's mom Sharon (Annie Potts), who tries to strong-arm Stef's father Frank (Sam McMurray) into attending. Also on hand are Lena's parents Dana (Lorraine Toussaint) and Stewart (Stephen Collins), with the latter officiating the ceremony.
Though The Fosters is a sizable hit for ABC Family, producers say some parents are banning it their households due to the gay content. "We're always seeing Tweets from kids who say, 'I had to turn off the show when my mom came into the room' or 'My parents won't let me watch but I'm watching anyway,'" says Bredeweg. "We're so grateful that our young viewers are passionately investing in this non-traditional family. They're the ones who will bring about the real change in this world."
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