On June 9, the Great Synagogue of Stockholm became the site of Sweden’s first wedding between two gay Jewish men.
The two grooms, Ruben Ben Dor and Stefan Gustafsson, have been living together for twenty-eight years.
Despite the historical milestone, the guest list was relatively short, consisting of only around fifty people; president of the Council of Swedish Jewish Communities, Lena Posner-Korosi, said that they were avoiding turning their wedding into a political event by only inviting “close friends.”
The couple are both members of the Great Synagogue, which is a Conservative congregation. According to the Swedish magazine QX’s online edition, both men have belonged to the synagogue since 1990, ever since Gustafsson returned to Sweden from living in Israel for several years. He and Dor enjoy gardening, and create postcards of various flora along with a Swedish photographer.
Gustafsson said in a media statement, “We were lucky to have four good friends who came from abroad to be our witnesses, and four other friends to hold up the huppa [canopy for a wedding ceremony].” He added that he and husband Dor were taking it easy after “a great day and wonderful celebration.”
Sweden has had full marriage equality since May 2009; though there is an official Church of Sweden, which is Lutheran, citizens of the country are generally not known for being religious. In a Gallup poll taken in 2009, only 17 percent said yes to the question “Is religion an important part of your daily life?” Though about 67.5 percent of Swedes belong to the Church of Sweden as of 2012, only about 2 percent attend services weekly.