Mayor Nutter to Officiate Same-Sex Wedding of Israeli Diplomat

Elad Strohmayer (left) and Oren Ben-Yosef

Elad Strohmayer (left) and Oren Ben-Yosef

Gay wedding bells will be ding-donging at City Hall this week, when Mayor Michael Nutter officiates the wedding of Elad Strohmayer, deputy consul general of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, and his fiancé, Oren Ben-Yosef, in an intimate ceremony in the Mayor’s Reception Room.

Strohmayer and Ben-Yosef are both Israeli citizens who will be living in Philadelphia throughout the former’s appointment at the Consulate.

“It is only appropriate that our marriage takes place in the beautiful structure that houses the seat of government of the City of Brotherly Love, that has come to be a second home since my appointment to the Consulate in 2012,” says Strohmayer in a press release sent out this afternoon.“We are honored to be joined in marriage by Mayor Nutter, who has done excellent work to promote Israeli and LGBT interests in Philadelphia. We look forward to sharing this special day with so many people who have made us feel at home in this city.”

Those people include friends of the couple, and a handful of political, LGBT and community leaders. Nutter will conduct the one-hour civil service with the aid of Rabbi Michael Beals of Wilmington’s Congregation Beth Shalom. Nancy Gilboy, president of Citizen’s Diplomacy International will offer remarks as the ceremony comes to a close, likely pointing out Strohmayer’s work to open a conversation between Philly and Israel.

“It is such an honor that these extraordinary young men have chosen to be married in Philadelphia,” she says. “Elad’s work has encouraged an open dialogue of international human rights and diplomacy between Philadelphia and Israel.  Oren, being from our sister city of Tel Aviv, is already family to us here. I look forward to this very special ceremony and the continuation of cooperation and understanding between our communities.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!