West London Synagogue celebrates religious same-sex weddings
West London Synagogue has carried out its first same-sex weddings, since the final regulations governing ceremonies came into place.
The final pieces of same-sex marriage legislation came into effect this Wednesday – allowing couples in civil partnerships to convert to a marriage for the first time.
Weddings for same-sex couples can now include both civil and religious elements in a single ceremony – whereas religious blessings for civil partnerships had to be separate.
Rabbi David Mitchell wed his partner Ian Kirsh at the synagogue on Wednesday – while two other same-sex couples jumped at the chance to marry under the chuppah in a traditional Jewish ceremony.
Orlando Ortega Medina wed his partner William Campos Ortega, while Sir Terence Etherton married partner Andrew Stone.
Rabbi Julia Neuberger – who championed same-sex marriage in the House of Lords – said: “I am so proud that my community has embraced the new legislation concerning same-sex marriage with open arms.
“This is entirely consistent with the community’s staunch belief in supporting human rights across the board for a just and fair society.”
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Rabbi David Mitchell and Ian Kirsh said: “What a brave new world – we are profoundly grateful to have been the third generation of Ian’s family to have stood under the chuppah at West London Synagogue celebrating our religious, legal and equal marriage.”
Mr Ortega Medina and Mr Campos Ortega said: “We are immensely proud of Great Britain for taking this historic step, and deeply grateful to West London Synagogue for the honour of having allowed us to celebrate our chuppah in this beautiful sanctuary, accompanied by our family and dearest friends.
Andrew Stone said: “We are so grateful to the rabbis and many others at WLS who made our wedding such a wonderful, joyous and spiritual event. It was perfect in every respect.”
Sir Terence Etherton and Andrew Stone:
Rabbi David Mitchell and Ian Kirsh:
Orlando Ortega Medina and William Campos Ortega: