BRITAIN-POLITICS-GAY-MARRIAGE

Nikki Pettit (C) and Tanya Ward (R) kiss as they pose for photographs with bridesmaid Mae (L) after their wedding ceremony in Brighton, southern England on March 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

Masorti Judaism has said it will allow its rabbis to conduct wedding ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples, after an historic vote that aligns its position to that of the Liberal and Reform movements. 

Each of the 12 Masorti communities will be free to decide whether to conduct same-sex wedding ceremonies, although none have so far shown a lack of support for the move.

“This is an important step forward,” said Senior Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg (pictured). “As a movement we will continue to strive to be inclusive and to honour the dignity of all people within the framework of Jewish law.”

The couples will be able to have a shutafrut (partnership) which, while technically distinct from kiddushin (traditional Jewish marriage ritual), will allow them to register as being legally married.

In a statement, the movement said: “We recognise that our movement encompasses diverse views on this important subject… We are proud to be taking this opportunity to make our communities ever more welcoming.”