‘IT FEELS LIKE REAL AC­CEP­TANCE’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - ROSA DOHERTY

STEVE Laughton had al­ways looked ad­mir­ingly at the ke­tubot of his mar­ried friends and fam­ily and imag­ined what his own would be like.

But he also ap­pre­ci­ated that “so much of the He­brew lan­guage is about man and wife” — and he is in a same sex re­la­tion­ship.

Now the 36-year-old play­wright feels “pure joy” at the prospect of be­ing one of the first to re­ceive a ke­tubot writ­ten spe­cially for same sex cou­ples.

“I’d read this beau­ti­ful doc­u­ment be­tween a man and wife and look at it in the con­text of me and [part­ner] Paul [Bloom­field] and think: ‘How on earth are we go­ing to do this?’

“Things were get­ting se­ri­ous and we were ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a lot of life cy­cle things and I re­mem­ber look­ing at the ke­tubot and be­ing sad.

“The fact the Lib­eral move­ment has de­vel­oped this without any prompt­ing or cam­paign­ing from LGBT+ groups makes the fact it ex­ists even sweeter.

“It feels like real ac­cep­tance and that is beau­ti­ful and re­ally sig­nif­i­cant.

“They haven’t come up with this be­cause they have to. They have sat down and thought about it as some­thing they need to do to be in­clu­sive. It shows they are will­ing to take that ex­tra step and make a stand.”

Mr Bloom­field, 33, is equally ex­cited about dis­play­ing a doc­u­ment that holds “so much sig­nif­i­cance” in the cou­ple’s Es­sex home.

“It takes us away from this half­way life LGBT+ peo­ple have to live,” he said.

“It is one of the most pre­cious things about a Jewish mar­riage and to have one that speaks to our own cir­cum­stance is some­thing re­ally amaz­ing.

“I don’t take moves like this for granted.”

The cou­ple, mem­bers of the Lib­eral Jewish Syn­a­gogue, St John’s Wood, plan to marry next sum­mer.

Steve Laughton and Paul Bloom­field

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