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Scranton Temple Has First Gay Wedding

Scranton Temple Has First Gay Wedding

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A Reform Jewish congregation in Scranton, Pa., observed a milestone this month with its first same-sex wedding.

Jen and Naomi Simmons, who grew up in Pennsylvania but now live in South Carolina, became the first same-sex couple married at Temple Hested in Scranton with their ceremony August 14, The Scranton Times-Tribune reports. They were legally wed 10 days earlier in Connecticut, as neither Pennsylvania nor South Carolina recognizes gay unions.

Jen Simmons said she hopes more couples will formalize their relationships. "Whether you want to call it a marriage or a commitment ceremony, do it," she advised other same-sex couples. "The more it happens the more it will be the norm."

Rabbi Daniel Swartz, who has been at Temple Hested for six years, was surprised that he had to wait this long to perform a same-sex wedding there. He had done several in his previous post in Maryland, he told the Times-Tribune. But he was glad to set a precedent for the region and demonstrate his faith's inclusivity.

"You might think from what you read in the media that all religions are against same-sex couples," he said. "Love is hard; harder than it has ever been. Anyone who has managed to do that should be celebrated."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.