A Hindu woman and her Jewish partner have married in the UK in what is believed to be the country’s first interfaith lesbian wedding, according to media reports. Kalavati Mistry, 48, and Miriam Jefferson, who is from Texas, met more than 20 years ago on a training course in the US, and tied the knot last week. During the ceremony, the brides wore traditional red and white bridal colours, fresh floral garlands and a ‘mangal sutra’ (a necklace traditionally tied around the bride’s neck) to show that they are now married women.
Ms Mistry had kept her sexuality a secret for years and said it had been “very difficult for me as an Asian gay woman”, The Independent reported. From a young age, Ms Mistry knew she was gay but was worried about telling her friends and family and honouring the traditions of her culture and religion.
She admits their reaction to her partner has been great. But her friends and family have been “welcoming and embracing” to Ms Jefferson since she disclosed their relationship, she said, adding: “I hope many many gay people – no matter what religion or culture they’re in – are in loving relationships.” Local Hindu female priest, Chanda Vyas carried out the ceremony and said she was delighted to be part of the event.
The couple, who both work for an interfaith organisation, married at the Chutney Ivy restaurant in Leicester, England. Jefferson said that they had already had a Jewish wedding in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, earlier this year. “It’s really nice to now have a Hindu wedding here, because it brings both of us together and completes both of us in my eyes,” she said. The couple will return to the US after the wedding.