Cadet Chapel at West Point hosts first-ever wedding for same-sex couple

This weekend, Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton became the first same-sex couple to marry at Cadet Chapel, a landmark chapel at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Fulton is a graduate from West Point, and she and Gnesin have been together for seventeen years. The women had previously hosted a civil commitment ceremony in 1999.

Stars and Stripes, a military news blog, reported:

The brides both live in New Jersey and would have preferred to have the wedding there, but the state doesn't allow gay marriage.

"We just couldn't wait any longer," Fulton told The Associated Press in a phone interview Saturday.

Cadet Chapel was a more-than-adequate second choice, she said.

"It has a tremendous history, and it is beautiful. That's where I first heard and said the cadet prayer," Fulton said, referring to the invocation that says, "Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half-truth when the whole can be won."

On Saturday, November 24, First Lieutenant Ellen Schick and Shannon Simpson married at the Old Cadet Chapel, a smaller building on the north side of West Point. 

Freedom to Marry congratulates Gnesin and Fulton on their happy, historic day. We will continue working with state organizations to overturn the New Jersey governor's veto so that the happy couple can share in the freedom to marry in their home state of New Jersey. 


Photos courtesy of Jeff Sheng