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Brenda Fulton and Penelope Gnesin First Same-Sex Couple to Wed at West Point Cadet Chapel

Gay marriage is slowly becoming accepted in various states. As this occurs, many churches will wed same-sex couples for the first time. Recently, West Point Military Academy's Cadet Chapel hosted its first same-sex marriage. 

According to ABC News, Brenda "Sue" Fulton and Penelope Gnesin were together for nearly 15 years before they were able to walk down the aisle at the Cadet Chapel.

Fulton's 15-year-old niece, Amanda Fulton, was one of the attendees at the wedding and was surprised by how teary-eyed she became. 

Amanda grew up understanding that Sue and Penelope were in love with one another. "When you're a kid, it's so easy to understand that when two people love each other, they want to be together," she said. "I didn't understand the marriage issue until I was much older, knowing that they couldn't get married, that was awful. It was heart-wrenching."

Fortunately, the heartbreak subsided on Saturday at the chapel when the two were finally able to wed. 

The couple chose the Cadet Chapel in West Point because it signified "integrity, respect and honor," the very same values that Fulton based her support of gay and lesbian soldiers on.

Thirty years ago, Fulton was one of the first women to attend West Point and quickly became an important player in fighting to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In July, she was appointed by President Barack Obama to West Point's Board of Visitors. She was the first openly gay or lesbian person to serve on the board. 

Fulton and Gnesin lived and met in New Jersey, so had hoped they could marry in the state when it was legal. It looked as if they might be able to do so when a same-sex marriage bill passed the legislature in February, but that bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie who would only recognize civil unions. 

As the years passed, Amanda became increasingly upset that they could not marry. The couple had been through much turmoil together, as Gnesin battled breast cancer and multiple sclerosis. 

It was their strong love that kept them close through the hard times, a love that was stronger than many heterosexual couples Amanda knew of. 

Eventually, the two decided to get married in West Point when a friend asked why they hadn't considered it, as same-sex marriage was legal there since 2011.

Fulton "looked at Penny" and "had a quick conversation" before getting down on one knee and asking her to marry her at West Point. 

The wedding consisted of many supporters and friends from the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" as well as family members. 

They made an already unique and memorable ceremony even more special by writing their own vows.

"I promise to be true to you, and to my own path," Gnesin told Fulton. "Now, we stand together; may it always be so. Blessed be."


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