A Jewish woman and her longtime Hindu female partner have married in a traditional Hindu ceremony that British media is reporting as apparently the UK’s first interfaith lesbian wedding.
Miriam Jefferson of Texas met Kalavati Mistry from Leicester, England 20 years ago while on a training course in the US, the Daily Mail reported this week.
The two had long kept their relationship secret, with Kalvati citing her traditional background and religious family.
“It was initially very difficult for me as an Asian gay woman. I knew from a very young age that I was gay,” she said. “I knew during my teenage years that I was and it was very difficult, trying to tell your friends and family and honor the traditions.”
Despite her fears, Kalvati said when she eventually revealed the relationship to her family and friends, they “were very warm, welcoming and embracing to Miriam.”
Kalvati said it was important fer her to hold a traditonal ceremony, but found it difficult to find a willing priest.
“Many priests were warm and welcoming and said they’d like to the wedding, but they said that their federation wouldn’t allow it,” she said.
The couple also had a Jewish ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, in February.
Miriam said “I feel like times are changing for the better. Some people have beliefs or fears that make it hard to embrace gay marriage [but] as people get more comfortable, as people find out that people they already know and love are gay, they want what’s best for them.
“Mostly, I think we’re going in the right direction. It’s hard to be against love. The wedding was wonderful.”