Philadelphia freedomPhiladelphia freedom

Mayor to marry off gay Israel envoy

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to officiate at City Hall wedding of deputy consul general and his partner

An illustration of a wedding ring. (photo credit: Shay Levy/Flash 90)
An illustration of a wedding ring. (photo credit: Shay Levy/Flash 90)

An Israeli diplomat will be married in a same-sex marriage ceremony conducted by the mayor of Philadelphia.

Elad Strohmayer, the deputy consul general of Israel in the city, and partner Oren Ben-Joseph will be married at the Philadelphia City Hall this week, Ynet reported. Mayor Michael Nutter and Michael Bills, a Conservative rabbi, will officiate.

Gay marriage has been legal in Pennsylvania since May.

Strohmayer met Ben-Joseph during a gay pride event in Tel Aviv in June. Ben-Joseph joined him shortly after in Philadelphia, and they were engaged in October.

“It’s a big honor for me to get married in the city that has been my home for the past three years and in which I represent Israel,” Strohmayer told Ynet.

Elad Strohmayer (Photo credit: Courtesy MFA)
Elad Strohmayer (Photo credit: Courtesy MFA)

“The fact that the local media and the leadership of the community is expressing great interest and will come to the wedding is really moving and also enables us to expose another facet of Israel that is not usually displayed in world media. Through our wedding that has been awarded with a high media profile we are adding another important element of representing Israel other than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Some 150 guests, including friends and family from Israel, will attend the wedding, according to Ynet.

It is the first time that Nutter will conduct a wedding ceremony for a diplomat and the fourth time he has officiated at a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry recognizes same-sex couples and lists them as official spouses, though same-sex weddings may not be performed in Israel.

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