Haringey heralds the dawn of equal marriage
Two same-sex couples tied the knot in Haringey on Saturday as the borough celebrated the first day of equal marriage.
Ceremonies were held in the Victorian Theatre at Alexandra Palace and the Civic Centre Chamber as the loving couples got hitched.
Kicking off the day was the marriage of Subodh Rathod and Niranjan Kamatkar, whose wedding at the Civic Centre saw them surrounded by supportive friends and family.
Subodh, 49, and Niranjan, 48, both work for Haringey-based arts charity Wise Thoughts. They have been together for almost 20 years and said it was “marriage or nothing” for them.
They believe they are one of the World’s first same-sex married couples of Indian origin and, contrary to some of the stereotypes perpetuated in the media, their families were fully behind the wedding.
Subodh said their wedding was a sign of the strong diversity in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities, adding:
"This event hails a major cultural shift offering recognition to all same-sex couples in England."
Niranjan said he hoped England would serve as an example to countries in Asia, where same-sex marriages are not officially recognised. He said:
"We are delighted and privileged to be able to marry. I hope, one day, all same-sex couples around the world will have the right to marry and will be able to express that love is for everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation."
Saturday afternoon saw Alexandra Palace’s beautiful Victorian Theatre play host to a ceremony with a difference for Benjamin Till and Nathan Taylor – whose entire wedding was sung.
The creative grooms wrote and staged their entire wedding as a musical – including sung vows, sung readings and show-stopping ensembles from the congregation.
Benjamin and Nathan’s wedding will be the focus of Channel 4 documentary 'Our Gay Wedding: The Musical' (external link) by award-wining production company Wingspan, to be screened tonight at 10pm.
A Wingspan spokesperson said:
"Haringey council and in particular the Registrars have been absolutely key to making this wonderful celebration of same-sex marriage possible."Benjamin and Nathan were so happy to be able to marry in their own borough, and to feel that there was such goodwill and excitement about the change in legislation."As the large rainbow flag fluttered outside the palace on 29 March, we couldn't have found a better borough to mark this wonderful moment in history."
Haringey Council Leader Cllr Claire Kober said:
"I’m tremendously proud that Haringey has played host to its first same-sex weddings and that this historic day was marked in such fantastic style."Huge congratulations to Subodh and Niranjan, Benjamin and Nathan and their families and loved ones. I hope this is just the beginning of many happy same-sex marriages in Haringey."
A third same-sex couple also registered their marriage in Haringey for last weekend, and enjoyed a ceremony in Islington.