Gulf War veteran David Bucher has married his long term partner Bruce Moats at the US Naval Academy – making them the first same-sex couple to do so in its chapel.
Naval Academy Chaplain Lieutenant John Connolly presided over the ceremony on Saturday in which Bucher, 49, and Moats, 50, married.
The ceremony consisted of formal prayers, a reading from the book of Corinthians and the US Navy Hymn.
Connolly told NBC News that he knew that the wedding would be controversial for some but in getting to know Bucher and Moats he decided it was the right thing to do.
‘Not everyone agrees that this should be happening and it took a significant amount of discernment on my own part as well as this couple’s as they were preparing for the day,’ Connolly said after the ceremony.
‘[But] the more I met with this couple, the happier I was to be presiding today,’
Same-sex navy veterans and personnel have been entitled to marry at the academy since Maryland legalized same-sex marriage in 2013 and a spokesperson for the academy told NBC News it was proud to host the wedding.
‘The Naval Academy is all about creating leaders for the future and embodying and promoting a culture of dignity and respect,’ US Navy Commodore John Schofield said.
‘And I think that it’s in line with those values, those tenets that we hold dear, that we have our first same-sex marriage here.’