Paths to Interfaith Marriages

June 28, 2003

Source: Newsday,0,4818410.story

On June 28, 2003 Newsday reported that "under a Jewish wedding canopy called a chupah, in front of a Christian unity candle and with a Cherokee prayer, Richard Goidel and Debra George were married earlier this month... It wasn't easy to find clergy willing to perform an interfaith ceremony, says George, 44, a widow. Some wouldn't return her phone calls and some admonished her, she says, and she was reduced to tears, wondering if her hopes could be realized... Although some religious leaders place restrictions on or object to interfaith marriages, a persistent couple can find clergy who specialize in interfaith ceremonies and are willing to co-officiate with a leader from another religion... Priests at the Hindu Temple Society of North America in Flushing won't hesitate to perform wedding ceremonies for interfaith couples, says G. Padmanabhan, the temple's public relations administrator. 'A main characteristic of Hinduism is tolerance.' In his experience, no couple has ever asked for a second religious leader and a second set of religious traditions to be included in the ceremony -- 'the traditions are just so different,' Padmanabhan says."