Rabbi's Daughter to Wed Among First U.K. Same-sex Marriages

Gay marriage becomes legal in England next month; West London Synagogue to host five couples' ceremonies on March 29.

A British Reform rabbi and lawmaker will soon watch her daughter walk down the aisle – in one of the first same-sex weddings held at a London synagogue, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England next month, with the first batch of weddings scheduled to take place on March 29.

Five gay couples are due to wed at the West London Synagogue, where Julia Neuberger, a member of the British House of Lords, serves as senior rabbi.

Neuberger was ordained in 1977 as one of the first of two female rabbis in the country.

Neuberger is a staunch supporter of gay marriage and joked last year that she hoped to one day hold a "Moonie-style mass gay wedding," according to the Daily Mail, which said it was unclear whether Neuberger's daughter Harriet and her partner would wed in a mass ceremony or a private service.

"West London has been a pioneer in the march to equality for all, and we are rightly proud of our tolerant, inclusive, gay-friendly atmosphere," Neuberger told the British daily.

Despite the legalization of same-sex marriage, the Church of England last week issued guidelines preventing its clergy from issuing blessings at gay marriages. Instead, the church said, clergy could offer an informal prayer at their discretion and at the request of the couple.

The church announced it would address the issue of sexuality, saying it was aware it needed to reflect rapid changes in society and to address falling attendance rates.

The British parliament passed laws last year to allow gay marriages from 2014 in England and Wales. Scotland followed suit this month, becoming the 17th country to allow same-sex marriages.
 

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