Hindu Woman Marries Jewish Partner in UK’s First Interfaith Lesbian Wedding
Kalavati Mistry and Miriam Jefferson met over 20 years ago.
A Hindu woman and her Jewish partner got married in what is believed to be the first interfaith lesbian wedding in the United Kingdom.
Kalavati Mistry, from Leicester, and Miriam Jefferson, who hails from Texas in the United States, met in the US during a training course. That was more than 20 years ago. They got married on August 12 in a Hindu ceremony in which both wore traditional Indian red bridal saris, fresh flower garlands and the mangala sutra, and decorated their hands with henna reported Pukaar News.
Struggle to ‘Come Out’
Mistry, 48, said that she had kept her sexuality hidden for years and that it was “very difficult for me as an Asian gay woman”.
“I knew during my teenage years that I was gay. It was very difficult, trying to tell your friends and family and honour the traditions,” she told Mirror UK.
But support came from friends and family who wholeheartedly welcomed Jefferson ever since they revealed their relationship, she said.
“I hope many many gay people – no matter what religion or culture they’re in – are in loving relationships,” Mistry added.
Hindu Wedding Ceremony
The couple faced difficulty finding a Hindu priest who was willing to perform the ceremony. They finally tied the knot at an Indian eatery, Chutney Ivy restaurant, in Leicester. Earlier this year, they had a Jewish wedding in Jefferson’s hometown of San Antonio, Texas.
“Marriage is very important to me. I grew up in a very traditional household, and really value the traditions and the culture,” Mistry was quoted as saying by Mail Online. “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,” she said.
Jefferson also spoke to the publication about the importance the marriage ceremony held for her. “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. Both the women work for an interfaith organisation.
The newly-wed couple plans to return to live in the US after the wedding.