Aussie Synagogue Hosts Gay Wedding

From JTA:

A same-sex commitment ceremony was held in a synagogue in Sydney, an Australian first.

Scott Whitmont, 47, and Christopher Whitmont-Stein, 38, stood under a chupah at the Emanuel Synagogue Sunday in front of about 75 guests.

The pair, who had a secular commitment ceremony six years ago, exchanged rings, smashed a glass and walked around each other 3 1/2 times.

The celebration follows a decision in May 2007 by the Council of Progressive Rabbis of Asia, Australia and New Zealand to allow its rabbis to officiate at same-sex commitment ceremonies.

Whitmont-Stein, a registered nurse, converted at Emanuel Synagogue in 2002 under the guidance of Rabbi Jeffery Kamins, who also officiated at Sunday’s ceremony.

“We wanted to be recognized by our community and officiated by our rabbi — that was important to us,” he told the Sydney Star Observer, a gay newspaper. “We didn’t set out to be poster boys for gay Jewish marriage.”

About Luke Ford

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