Leicester

Hindu-Jewish lesbian couple's joy after search for wedding priest

Kalavati Mistry and Jewish-born Miriam Jefferson Image copyright Pukaar News
Image caption Kalavati Mistry, from Leicester, and Miriam Jefferson, from Texas, married at the weekend

A Hindu and Jewish lesbian couple have held a traditional wedding ceremony after finally finding a priest to officiate.

Kalavati Mistry, from Leicester, married Jewish-born Miriam Jefferson, from Texas, in a Hindu ceremony at the weekend.

Ms Mistry said many priests told her they were not allowed to marry them.

Female priest Chanda Vyas eventually stepped in to carry out the ceremony in Leicester.

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Ms Mistry told Pukaar News: "I tried many many priests in Leicester and [they] were warm and welcoming and said they'd like to do this but that their federation won't allow it."

Image copyright Pukaar News
Image caption The couple were married at the Chutney Ivy in Leicester

She said she had always known she was gay, but was worried about telling friends and family, deciding to keep her sexuality a secret.

However, having come out she said: "They've been very warm welcoming and embracing to Miriam which has been very important."

She added that it was important to her to have a traditional Hindu ceremony.

They also had a Jewish wedding earlier this year in San Antonio, Texas.

Ms Jefferson said: "I got to spend an entire day with somebody I adore and love and want to spend my life with, surrounded by people who I have been close to my entire life and people who have recently embraced me as one of their own, so it's a pretty wonderful way to celebrate."

The brides both wore traditional red and white bridal colours, fresh floral garlands and a "mangala sutra" to show they were now married women.

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