The First Catholic Lesbian Church Wedding

Posted by Censor Librorum on Aug 1, 2023 | Categories: History, Lesbians & Gays

The first Catholic lesbian church wedding was held at the Church of Saint George (Iglesia de San Jorge) in A Coruna, Spain on June 8, 1901.  Even though one of the women, Elisa Sanchez Loriga, was posing as “Mario Sanchez,” the marriage has never been invalidated by the Church or civil authorities.

Elisa Sanchez Loriga and Marcela Gracia Ibeas met while they were in school to train as teachers. They fell in love. While posted to village schools a few miles apart in rural Galicia, they concocted an elaborate wedding plot. Elisa assumed the identity of a cousin raised in London, and Marcela became pregnant.

A wedding portrait of the happy couple was published in the local newspaper, La Voz de Galicia.  The headline read, “A wedding without a groom.”  After the publicity the couple fled to Porto, Portugal, where Marcela gave birth to a daughter. Threatened with a Spanish extradition order, the couple settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1902.

After arriving, Elisa, under the alias of “Maria,” married Christian Jensen, a wealthy Danish immigrant in 1903. He was considerably older. Marcela and their baby lived with them as Maria’s sister, “Carmen.” Jensen ended up denouncing Maria as a fraud since she refused to consummate the marriage. 

After that the trail of the two women goes cold. A Mexican newspaper reported in 1909 that Elisa had committed suicide in Veracruz.

See their love story, Elisa & Marcela, on Netflix!



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