Two British women have made history by marrying last weekend in what is believed to be the nation’s first interfaith gay ceremony.
Kalavati Mistry and Miriam Jefferson are both from strictly religious families. Kalavati is Hindu, and Miriam is Jewish.
After falling in love on a training course 20 years ago, the pair finally found a Hindu priest willing to marry them.
On Saturday, the couple tied the knot at a venue in Leicester in front of their friends and family.
The brides wore traditional Hindu garments in the wedding colors of red and white.
Kalavati, 48, explained how she had kept her sexuality secret for the majority of her life. She came out to her Hindu parents only a few years ago.
Luckily, her family accepted her relationship with Miriam, causing one less thing to worry about for the newlywed.
The couple is now set to move to Texas, where Miriam is from, and finally begin the married life they’ve been dreaming about for decades.
Though some couples may not have bothered with getting married, Kalavati says marriage was always something she wanted. “Marriage is very important to me. I grew up in a very traditional household, and really value the traditions and the culture,” she told the Daily Mail.
“To me, I wanted to spend my life with someone in a union. Some of the rituals that you do in a wedding are very important. I wanted me and Miriam to join in that union.”
Kalavati also spoke of the struggles of growing up as a gay Asian woman, adding: “It was initially very difficult for me, trying to tell your friends and family and honor the traditions.
“Once I told my friends and family a few years ago, they were very warm, welcoming and embracing to Miriam, which is very important.”
“Although attitudes are changing at the moment, it was very difficult to find a priest,” Kalavati explained. “Many priests were warm and welcoming and said they’d like to do the wedding, but they said that their federation wouldn’t allow it. I’m very grateful that we’ve been able to do this. I’d like to see our lives bond together — our traditions and our cultures.”
Miriam echoed her wife’s sentiments, commenting that she feels “like times are changing for the better.”
“Some people have beliefs or fears that make it hard to embrace gay marriage. I feel like that’s going to change. 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,” she said.
Congratulations to the newlyweds.
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