Canadian Conservative Shul Hosts Gay Wedding

A Winnipeg synagogue is about to become the first Conservative shul in Canada to host a same-sex wedding ceremony.

Shaarey Zedek Synagogue will be the scene on Jan. 21 for the “renewal” of marriage vows between two men wedded in a civil service in Vancouver in 2004, the Winnipeg Jewis Post and News reported.

Canada did not legalize same-sex marriage until 2005.

The service will be held under a chuppah and conducted by Rabbi Larry Pinsker.

The ceremony is the culmination of a three-year process intended to welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) people into the congregation.

The first stage, said Ian Staniloff, the synagogue’s executive director, was to allow same-sex couples to buy joint burial plots in 2009. The second was to welcome them as members.

While the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, in Dec. 2006, approved extending blessings to same-sex unions in commitment ceremonies, Staniloff noted that same-sex couples in the congregation were not satisfied with that. They want their unions to be sanctified.

“The Shaarey Zedek has been talking the talk,” one of the men, 67-year-old Arthur Blankstein, told the paper. “Now it is time for the congregation to walk the walk.”

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Canadian Conservative Shul Hosts Gay Wedding

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close