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Gay Couple Makes History With Their Marriage at West Point

Gay Couple Makes History With Their Marriage at West Point

From Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to big fat gay weddings at West Point.

Many West Point graduates dream of marrying in one of the famous military academy’s chapels, especially when they’re marrying fellow graduates. West Point can represent an important and formative era in someone’s life, and thus marriage on campus has an important symbolic value. For gay and lesbian graduates of West Point, that value is even more important, because until very recently, they weren’t allowed to be openly gay while in military service, and were forced to love in secret. Marrying at the military academy would have been unthinkable.

Two lesbian couples have already tied the knot at West Point, but last weekend, a gay couple made history by becoming the first male couple married there, holding services in the Cadet Chapel. The almost 100-year-old building is famous for its stunning gothic architecture, amazing organ and beautiful services, but this week, it became famous for other reasons, as the host of what will hopefully be the first of many gay weddings on the grounds of West Point.

The two men, Larry Choate III (2009) and Daniel Lennox (2007) took advantage of the fact that gay marriage is legal in New York state to celebrate their wedding in the place where both of them had so many important experiences. While they’re finished with their terms of military service, they still have strong ties to West Point — in fact, it is their West Point connections that brought them together, as they didn’t meet on the campus but after their graduations. This is a tight second family that many West Point graduates form as they move out into the world, creating a close network of connections brought together by their shared experiences at the academy.

Choate has particularly fond memories of the chapel, as he taught Sunday School there during his years as a cadet at West Point. During his time in the chapel, he always imagined himself getting married there — something that would have been inconceivable for a gay cadet serving in the military when he was.

Thus, their wedding is both a celebration of their love for each other and of the tremendous strides that have been made for gay and lesbian rights in the military. The men kept the service relatively small, focusing on family and close friends for the event rather than a big crowd.

Ultimately, he was eager to stress that his wedding was just like any other: two people who love each other, getting together to say wedding vows and commit to each other for life. There might not have been a bride present, but just like any other marriage ceremony, his featured witnesses, friends and loved ones who came together to watch two families join together in a place where the betrothed had strong ties. While their marriage is newsworthy and boundary-breaking today, and Choate hopes it helps pave the way for others, ultimately it will hopefully be a footnote in history: “Remember when gay marriages at West Point were news?”

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Photo credit: West Point.

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72 comments

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6:49AM PST on Nov 10, 2013

Patsy O ...... Your profile makes you sound such a wonderful loving person - a pity your " Church Of Christ" doesn't seem to teach "love thy neighbour" or many other teachings of Christ ! Maybe you missed a few lessons, and need to attend more often ???

6:41AM PST on Nov 9, 2013

Patsy...that's your opinion and your religion and your god.

This is NOT the United States of Patsy's God.....don't you see that?

I'm delighted for these people and wish them years of happiness!

1:19PM PST on Nov 7, 2013

This marriage represent our freedom too, when you consider that until 1974 homosexuality was considered a mental illness. We are under an onslaught of 'disorders" today, that can be voted away overnight by the American Psychiatric Association as homosexuality was. Just imagine if the gay movement did not fight this battle, these brave men could be on disability benefits for their mental illness. Instead depression leads on that score. I wonder who will fight for all the children, being declared "mentally ill" these days. Thank you gentlemen for your courage, both on and off the battlefield.

http://www.depressionwars.com/fight-depression-blog.html

1:26AM PST on Nov 7, 2013

GOOD FOR THEM. THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED LIKE ANYONE ELSE!

4:11PM PST on Nov 6, 2013

ty

1:39PM PST on Nov 6, 2013

Congratulations to the happy couple :-) Glad that service personnel are being accepted as individuals. These folk risk their lives and sexuality is of no importance when facing a foe together. Still hoping someday sexuality will be taken like eye color.. just another basic part of who someone is.

5:00AM PST on Nov 6, 2013

Congratulations!

8:38PM PST on Nov 5, 2013

Illinois just became the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. Our governor has already said he will sign since he was in favor of gay marriage all along. Now my son and his husband from NY can visit here in Illinois and be legal.

8:38PM PST on Nov 5, 2013

Thank you for the wonderful news. It's about time people learned to accept and love one another.

5:08PM PST on Nov 5, 2013

good for them

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