A gay couple in Edinburgh tied the knot over the weekend in Scotland’s first-ever pagan same-sex wedding ceremony complete with handfasting, sharing of mead, and jumping the broom.
Tom Lanting and Iain Robertson identify as hedge witches. They have been together for 12 years.
“As hedge witches we always wanted to have a pagan marriage ceremony in line with our beliefs and it was really important to us to be able to share this ceremony with our friends and family,” the couple told BBC News.
The wedding happened deep down in the depths of a 16th-century vaulted stone cellar of Edinburgh’s Marlin’s Wynd, which once served as an underground market of sorts with a variety of shops, stalls and dwellings.
“Getting married in a legal pagan ceremony means so much to both of us,” the couple said.
Scotland is the only part of the U.K. where pagans, as well as other minority religious groups, are allowed to duly perform legal weddings.
“Equality for people of all faiths is something that is very dear to the vast majority of pagans,” she said, “and the Pagan Federation (Scotland) has made equal marriage for all pagans in Scotland one of our biggest campaigns over the last 10 years.”
Park continued: “We feel that, if any couple wish to, they should be able to make their marriage vows before their own personal Gods, friends and family, in a religious ceremony tailored to suit their own beliefs.”
Tom French, policy and public affairs coordinator for the Equality Network, told BBC News he was “delighted” to be in attendance for the U.K.’s first pagan same-sex marriage.
“Religious and belief groups played an important role in the campaign for equal marriage and this ceremony is a mark of equality and freedom of belief in Scotland,” he said.