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Jewish womans same-sex wedding takes the spotlight 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 Raab 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. “I am very happy to be able to participate in the overthrow of the wall of prejudice and false moralism that prevented same-sex unions,” party planner Ricardo Stambowsky, who was organizing his first gay wedding ceremony, told the local media. It was the first time in 95 years that a same-sex wedding took place at the Copacabana Palace. 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. Gradel and Raab followed Jewish wedding traditions, including not seeing each other during the week prior to the wedding and walking in seven circles around one another as a symbol of each one becoming the epicenter of the other’s life.

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