December 3, 2012

Saber the Moment: Gay Wedding at West Point

Gay Marriage West Point Chapel sword arch

Call it a sign of the times. With West Point’s Chapel holding its first gay marriage, the photo above illustrated a completely straight news story (if you’ll pardon the pun) at the otherwise right wing

The photo just below, which accompanied this CS Monitor article seemed more popular in the majority of media stories. Brenda Sue Fulton on the right was a West Point grad, the ceremony performed by an Army chaplain friend of hers from Dover Air Force Base.

West Point Chapel Gay Marriage

It’s hard to argue with the lead photo for maximum impact though. Given the importance of ritual in military affairs, incorporating the traditional saber arch (formed during marriage ceremonies) truly melds gay marriage and military culture. At the same time, it’s sort of funny too, considering all the “saber rattling” that went on over gays serving openly up right up until the day the barrier was broken.

The photo, by the way, was taken and made available to the wire services by Outserve-SLDN, the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel of which Fulton is also a board member. I guess the further point is, not just anybody can get married at West Point.

(photo: Jeff Sheng/Outserve-SLDN/AP caption: In this photo provided by Outserve-SLDN, Brenda Sue Fulton, center left, and Penelope Gnesin, proceed through an honor guard forming an arch of raised swords after exchanging wedding vows at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Their ceremony marks the first time a same sex couple had their wedding in the Cadet Chapel, the landmark gothic church that is a center for spiritual life at the Academy. The chaplain and woman at left are unidentified.)

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Michael Shaw
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