A pair of aging lesbians, one of them a West Point graduate and homosexual activist, were “married” December 1 at the military academy's Protestant Cadet Chapel (pictured), the first homosexual couple allowed to hold such a ceremony in the sacred and historic building. The “wedding” for 53-year-old Brenda Sue Fulton, a former Army officer and a 1980 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, and her 52-year-old “partner” Penelope Gnesin, was performed by Col. J. Wesley Smith, a senior Army chaplain who serves at Dover Air Force Base, where he presides over Christian ceremonies for the bodies of soldiers killed in action overseas when they return to U.S. soil. Smith was chosen because all of the available chaplains at West Point are prohibited by the denominations they represent from performing homosexual “wedding” ceremonies.
Fulton is the executive director of Knights Out, a homosexual activist group composed, according to the group's website, of “West Point Alumni, Staff and Faculty who are united in supporting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender soldiers to openly serve their country.”
The two have been a “couple” for 17 years, and while they had earlier gone through a civil commitment ceremony, they “had long hoped to formally tie the knot,” reported the Associated Press. “The way was cleared last year, when New York legalized same-sex marriage and President Barack Obama lifted the 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy prohibiting openly gay people from serving in the military.”
While the two women live together in New Jersey, where they said they would have preferred to “marry,” that state recognizes only traditional marriage, and “we just couldn't wait any longer,” Fulton told the AP. She said, however, that the Cadet Chapel worked out nicely. “It has a tremendous history, and it is beautiful,” she said, apparently unaware of how that beauty and history were marred by her actions.
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