RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA) — A same-sex Jewish wedding ceremony held in the iconic Brazilian hotel frequented by kings and queens has made headlines in Latin America’s largest nation.
It is the first Jewish same-sex wedding to go so public and is believed to be the first Jewish ceremony between two women in Brazil.
Some 200 guests attended the lavish nuptials held Saturday at the luxurious Copacabana Palace Hotel, where pharmacist Roberta Gradel and economist Priscila Raab were married under a huppah. Gradel is Jewish and Rabb is not.
“And they said ‘I do’” read the headline of the Monday edition of Rio’s most influential newspaper, O Globo, next to a large photo of the brides kissing under the canopy. Social media in the country were flooded with photos and videos of the couple during the ceremony.
It was the first time in 95 years that a same-sex wedding took place at the Copacabana Palace — the first choice for kings and queens visiting Rio. It’s an iconic art deco masterpiece standing opposite the white sandy Copacabana beach.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Brazil since 2013 following a National Justice Council decision, which orders notaries of every Brazilian state to perform same-sex marriages. In four years, 15,000 same-sex couples have officially registered to be married, according to the agency. Same-sex unions had already been legally recognized since 2004.