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Women Marry At West Point Chapel, First Same-Sex Couple To Wed There

A little more than a year after "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ended, one of its key opponents weds her longtime partner at the U.S. Military Academy, her alma mater.

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Brenda Sue Fulton and Penelope Gnesin married today at the U.S. Military Academy's Cadet Chapel at West Point — the first wedding of a same-sex couple to take place at the chapel.

Fulton graduated from West Point in 1980 and was appointed to serve on the Board of Visitors of the institution, the first out member of the advisory board.

"We had always said that we wanted to get married in New Jersey," Fulton told USA Today, which first reported the news. Of her and her partner of 17 years, though, she said, "we didn't want to wait any longer" and married in New York, particularly because Gnesim is a breast cancer survivor and suffers from multiple sclerosis.

The wedding happened a little more than a year after the military policy banning out lesbian, gay and bisexual service known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" came to an end. Although House Republicans have passed legislation in recent years banning same-sex couples from marrying on military property, the Senate Democratic majority and Obama administrations have opposed them, preventing such provisions from becoming law.

Fulton has been a leading figure in the long fight for out LGBT service. She is a founder of KnightsOut, the organization of West Point alumni supporting LGBT servicemembers, and is on the board of directors of the recently merged national organization addressing the topic, OutServe-SLDN.

Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.

Contact Chris Geidner at

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