George Takei

Tom Atwood / Courtesy of George Takei

George Takei is going ring shopping.

The Star Trek helmsman and his partner of 21 years, Brad Altman, are engaged to be married.

"This is something we've been passionately committed to, so, no, there's no cold feet," Takei told E! News today.

Altman proposed last Thursday, shortly after the California Supreme Court struck down a state law banning same-sex unions.

"I was planning on asking Brad, but he got down on one knee, and, of course, I said, yes," Takei said. "I told Brad, 'You beat me to it.' "

 

Congratulations have poured in from fans, his latter-day colleagues at The Howard Stern Show—and, yes, wedding planners.

Takei, who publicly came out in a magazine interview in 2005, announced his plans in a blog post Friday, the same day Ellen DeGeneres took to her talk show to announce her engagement to actress Portia de Rossi.

Takei, 71, said he and Altman, his business manager, would have taken the plunge years ago—if they'd been legally allowed to do so.

He said they resisted the urge to go to San Francisco, when that California city began marrying gay couples in 2004, because they wanted to be certain of their union's legality. (Ultimately, the San Francisco marriages were voided by court order.) And he said they resisted the urge to marry elsewhere, such as Massachusetts, because they wanted to marry in California, where Takei is a second-generation native son.

Right now, the couple has a date range, but not yet a date—sometime after mid-June, when same-sex marriages will become lawful in California, and sometime before November, when a measure seeking to ban such unions could be on the ballot.

If the antigay-marriage initiative does wind up on the California ballot, Takei promised to campaign against it "vigorously."

As things currently stand, Takei and Altman are consumed with the business of wedding planning.

"We are now going through the process of making those wonderful decisions," Takei said.

First stop: Arizona, where the couple will buy their rings.

Then, it'll be time to decide the where, the when and the how-many-to-invite.

At least one group seems assured of scoring seats.

Said the once and forever Lt. Sulu: "My Star Trek castmates are dear friends of many, many decades, so they are on the list."

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