Navy Officer Weds Partner the Exact Moment That 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Ends

don't ask don't tell t-shirtNavy Lt. Gary Ross married his partner of 11 years, Dan Swezy, Tuesday at the stroke of midnight -- just as the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy went into effect. The two men are from Tucson, Arizona. But they traveled all the way to Vermont for the wedding, not only because it is one of six states that has legalized same-sex marriage, but also because Vermont is in the Eastern time zone and they wanted to recite their vows at the very minute that the DADT ban ended.

How's that for perfect timing?

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It's beautiful when you think about it: Because of the 1993 law that allowed gays to serve in the military as long as they did not openly acknowledge their sexual orientation, Ross couldn't talk with his co-workers about his relationship with Swezy for year. But now, just as gay advocacy groups are planning a series of celebrations across the country, Ross is finally able to officially come out and have his own celebration of love with his partner in front of his family and friends.

The military itself isn't making a big deal out of today: It simply distributed a business-as-usual statement saying, "The law is repealed," and reminded service members to treat each other fairly. After all, it's been planning for this day for some time now: In fact, 97 percent of the military has already undergone training in the new law. Therefore, the transition hopefully will be smooth.

Of course, that doesn't mean that Ross intends to go to work tomorrow bragging that he's a married man to his co-workers: He says he's not going to advertise that fact until people are more comfortable with the new changes. But at least he won't have to lie anymore about the person he loves.

Congrats to the happy couple!

 

Image via MoNewsHorizon/Flickr

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