Speed Reads

wedding season

A British gay couple became the first to be married in a church

Facebook/Metropolitan Community Church

It's not uncommon for weddings to take place in a church, but the union between Jan Tipper and Barb Burden was still significant. As the first same-sex couple to tie the knot in a religious building since the United Kingdom legalized gay marriage last month, the two made history on Sunday when they welcomed friends and family to the Metropolitan Community Church in Bournemouth, two hours southwest of London.

The Christian church had no religious qualms in welcoming the couple, said Reverend Dwayne Morgan. "God blesses the love of two people no matter what their gender," he said. Tipper, who has been a member at the church for the past 15 years, said they didn't intend to be the first gay couple to get married in a church — it just happened. She added the church has been very important in her 19-year relationship with her partner.

"To get married in our church was very significant to us," she said. "Even though we've been together for almost 19 years it didn't feel right for us to have just a blessing or even a civil partnership."