Two former nuns were joined in a civil union in Italy on Wednesday in a ceremony coming only four months after the heavily Catholic country approved same-sex partnerships.

Identified only as Isabel and Federica, they met three years ago doing charitable work with drug addicts and gradually fell in love, reports the Guardian.

Each of the sisters renounced their vocation and left the church. In the intervening time, they have been outspoken about the church’s hardline stance against homosexuality. “God wants people happy, to live the love in the light of the sun,” Isabel reportedly told Italy’s La Stampa newspaper.

“They prayed a lot about this and … in the end, they took their decision knowing that not many would approve,” Franco Barbero, the officiant who married them, said. Isabel and Federica, he added, are “two lovely people, of intense faith and with serious studies behind them.” Fittingly, Barbero is a former Catholic priest and ardent supporter of gay marriage who was excommunicated by the church in 2003. Today, they can indeed share their love, as Isabel put it, “in the light of the sun.”


Read the full story at Newser.