Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-06-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

First same-sex ceremony held at West Point Cadet Chapel
From a news release
2012-12-03

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


(West Point, NY) Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Board member Brenda S. "Sue" Fulton today married long time Penelope Dara Gnesin at the Cadet Chapel at West Point. A member of the first class to include women at West Point in 1980, she now serves as a presidential appointee to its Board of Visitors. Fulton is also the Executive Director of Executive Director of Knights Out, an organization of LGBT West Point graduates and allies. She joined OutServe-SLDN's newly combined Board in October 2012. The ceremony, scheduled for 2pm today, will be the first same-sex wedding at the Cadet Chapel. Last week, Army 1st Lieut. Ellen Schick married Ms. Shannon Simpson at the Old Cadet Chapel, a smaller venue on Academy grounds.

"West Point holds special significance to both me and Penny," said Fulton "From the time I was a cadet, what West Point stands for — integrity, leadership, selfless service — have been my touchstones. When Penny and I worked on ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' we kept coming back to the core value of integrity, and that's what made a difference. To be able to legalize our union here, especially at the Cadet Chapel, is really important to us."

The couple met in 1995 during a community sing. Penny attended a local event with singer-songwriter Carolyn McDade. While most of the participants sang melody, Sue's contralto harmony caught Penny's ear and ultimately brought the two to together.

"Witnessing the joining of Sue and Penny in holy matrimony in this sacred place means a great deal to gay and lesbian alumni of West Point, and to all LGBT service members," said OutServe-SLDN executive director and West Point alumna Allyson Robinson. "It sends a clear message that we, too, are part of the 'Long Gray Line' of graduates and that we will not back down until our families receive the same respect and the same benefits other military families do." Robinson attended the ceremony with her wife Danyelle, also a graduate; the two were married at the Cadet Chapel in 1994 (prior to her gender transition). "We at OutServe-SLDN are so proud of Sue and Penny and wish them many more happy years together."

Penny being a life-long New Jerseyan, they planned to marry in their home state of New Jersey when the state assembly passed a marriage equality bill. However Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the measure forcing the couple to rethink their plans.

"I just didn't want to wait any longer," said Sue who proposed over the summer. The couple held a commitment ceremony in 1999, though it held no legal significance.

"I still hope that our home state will recognize marriage equality, but Penny—as strong as she is—is a breast cancer survivor, and has been dealing with Multiple Sclerosis for more than ten years. We cannot wait for a governor who thinks everyone should get to vote on whether, after 17 years together, we are really married."

Penny is philosophical about the importance of legal recognition and being able to have the ceremony at West Point: "It feels like the end of an era of repression, of inequality - and end to the time of 'you're not good enough.' I feel like I can hold my head up higher, stand up straighter, with the person I've chosen to spend my life with."

The celebrants are Episcopalian Army Chaplain (Colonel) Wesley Smith, Senior Army Chaplain of Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base (DE); and Rev. Vanessa Southern, Unitarian Universalist, and pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Church at Summit (NJ).

At the closing blessing, Smith and Southern will be joined at the altar by a Reform Jewish rabbi as well as ministers from Presbyterian, Baptist, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, and Metropolitan Community Churches. All are friends of the couple.

"We know many clergy, and we're honored to have Chaplain Smith and Reverend Southern to officiate."

Sue, 53, works at a pharmaceutical company in New Jersey. She was honorably discharged from the Army at the rank of captain.

She is the daughter of Benjamin D. and Clara Bevis Fulton of Lakeland, FL. Her father, a Navy veteran, was a teacher at Martin County High School. Her mother, who is also retired, was the first female principal at Martin County High School.

Penny, 52, is a holistic healer and director of the women's choir, Giving Voice. She graduated from Rutgers University and is medically retired from AT&T.

She is a daughter of Oscar and Sylvia Katz Gnesin of Long Branch, N.J., both deceased. Her mother was a history teacher and an attorney for the local teachers' union. Her father worked as an electrical engineer for the U.S. government.

Giving Voice, a women's a cappella chorus, was founded by Penny 18 months ago, and is based at the Universal Unitarian Congregation of Monmouth County, Lincroft, N.J. Giving Voice was joined by three members of Olympia's Daughters, founded and directed by Penny from 1989 to 2009.

The couple is postponing their honeymoon until next year.

About OutServe-SLDN: OutServe-SLDN is the association of actively serving LGBT military personnel with more than fifty chapters and 6000 members around the world It works to support a professional network of LGBT military personnel and create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. It is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visitwww.outserve-sldn.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Illinois woman charged with attack on actress Kelly McGillis 2016-06-25
Thousands at Chicago's 20th annual Dyke March 2016-06-25
Backlot Bash kicks off Pride celebrations 2016-06-25
Clandestina celebrates Pride in Pilsen 2016-06-25
Transgender military ban to be lifted July 1 2016-06-24
Upcoming: Clandestina, CRUSH for alternative women, Toni Shelton house-music, Girls in Boystown 2016-06-22
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Life is a parade for Monica Raymund 2016-06-22
Palm Center symposium on military trans ban 2016-06-18
Lesbian parties and special events for Pride Month 2016-06-16
Clandestina Pride Parties June 23, June 26 2016-06-16
CRUSH Chicago hosts Pride Weekend for the 'alternative woman' 2016-06-15
Foster-care seminar on July 9 has special LGBTQ focus 2016-06-14
VA proposes lifting ban on gender confirmation surgery for veterans 2016-06-11
13th 'Back lot Bash' fest expands, events June 16-26 2016-06-07
National roundup: Military and Pride Month, Cyndi Lauper, trans survey 2016-06-07
Navy Celebrates 2016 LGBT Pride Month 2016-06-03
Staceyann Chin brings 'Motherstruck!' to Chicago 2016-06-01
Report on LGBTQ singles released 2016-06-01
White House honors local lesbian actress 2016-06-01
LGBT veterans, band visible in Chicago's Memorial Day observance 2016-05-29
SUMMER MUSIC Tegan and Sara show us the 'Love' 2016-05-25
Northwestern hosts Black Feminist Futures Symposium 2016-05-23
GOP strips U.S. defense bill of LGBT protections 2016-05-22
ACLU: Chelsea Manning Prosecution Was Unconstitutional 2016-05-22
Artemis Singers concerts in June 2016-05-18
Midwest women's weekend rebrands 2016-05-18
U.S. Senate confirms gay man, Eric Fanning, for Secretary of Army 2016-05-18
Eric Fanning, a gay man, confirmed as the 22nd Secretary of the U.S. Army 2016-05-17
Palm Center Questions Pentagon Claim that Transgender Service "Complicated" 2016-05-13
Artemis Singers to present "Voices of Joyful Rebellion" Pride Concert 2016-05-12
ART Riva Lehrer and the evolution of 'Risk' 2016-05-11
Comedian Tig Notaro at BookCon in Chicago May 14 2016-05-11
Force drops thriller against DC Divas 2016-05-10
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Lorraine Hansberry and Five Lesbian Brothers get new productions 2016-05-04
Mary Lambert talks music, emotions at NU event 2016-05-03
'Garden of Eve' celebrates women in fiery atmosphere 2016-05-02
Chicago Force wins home opener in dominant, record-setting fashion 2016-05-02
1,300+ tradeswomen in Chicago for 2016 Women Build Nations Conference 2016-04-28
House Comm. Votes to Strip Away LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections in Contracting 2016-04-28
Darby honored at AVER convention 2016-04-27
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.