An elderly military couple married at their veterans home yesterday in the center’s first gay ceremony.
95-year-old World War II veteran John Banvard, married his partner, 67-year-old Gerard Nadeau, who served in Vietnam.
The two have been together for 20 years, but had to wait until the recent Supreme Court decision to legally tie the knot.
They moved to the veterans home in Chula Vista, California three years ago and decided to hold the ceremony there, among their friends.
The ceremony was small and simple. After exchanging vows, the two men were sealed with a kiss.
‘It was something we wanted to do for a long time,’ Mr Banvard told 10 News.
Their ceremony, however, wasn’t completely welcomed by the rest of the home’s residents.
Facility director Neal Asper told Fox 5 San Diego that news of the gay ceremony was ‘somewhat controversial’.
As for the residents who have complained to him about it: ‘I told them, they have the right to get married here just like everybody else.’
But some residents still didn’t like the idea. Someone even contacted the Westboro Baptist Church, a notoriously anti-gay group in Florida, in hopes that they would get the ceremony moved off the property.
On the day of the wedding though, there were no protestors and those who objected to the ceremony simply didn’t attend.
‘Oh that’s they problem not mine,’ Nadeau said about those opposed to the wedding. ‘But you know what this will do? Open the door for other people.’
One resident said that while he disagreed with two men getting married he respected their legal right to do so.
‘I just know that it’s against my faith and my religion, but as Americans they have a right to do what they want to do.’