Janet, Lady Glamis, burned in 1537, and Janet Horne, burned in 1637, would be delighted at the change in Scotland these days, although much of traditional Christendom might have a different perspective. On Sunday, in Edinburgh, two male witches celebrated the first pagan same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom.
The BBC reported that Tom Lanting, 34, and Iain Robertson, 39, who have lived together for 12 years, tied the knot in a ceremony in Edinburgh’s 16th-century Marlin’s Wynd. Both men are hedge witches; the ceremony included rituals such as handfasting, sharing mead and jumping the broom.
According to handfastings.org, handfasting literally means tying the knot: “After the bride and groom both declare their intent to enter into this union, the hands of the couple are clasped and fastened together with a cord or cords just before, just after, or during their vows are made to one another.” The site also explains that the ceremony isn’t exactly the type of commitment found in traditional weddings: “A handfasting can either be a legal marriage (depending on state law), or a commitment for “as long as love shall last.”
Lanting and Robertson stated:
Getting married in a legal pagan ceremony means so much to both of us. The new equal marriage law means that we finally have equal recognition and acceptance of our relationship, and it opens the door for all LGBTI couples to take the same step. As hedge witches we always wanted to have a pagan marriage ceremony in line with our beliefs and it was really important to us to be able to share this ceremony with our friends and family.
Unlike England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, Scotland allows pagans to wed legally; the Pagan Federation in Scotland has celebrated heterosexual pagan marriages since 2005.
Louise Park, the presiding officer for the Pagan Federation (Scotland), who presided over the wedding, ejaculated, “I am absolutely over the moon to have been able to conduct Scotland’s – and the UK’s – first pagan same-sex marriage for Tom and Iain, who hold a special place in the hearts of Scotland’s pagan community.”