A U.S. Marine Corps captain proposed to his partner in front of a Christmas tree at the White House Saturday in the first gay engagement to happen there.
Capt. Matthew Phelps asked his boyfriend Ben Schock to marry him in the grand foyer of the White House, on the six-month anniversary of their first date, which also was at the White House, reported ABC News
“Our first date was to the White House, so I wanted to propose to him there,” Phelps told ABC News. “When I got invited to the holiday tour — six months to the day that we had been there on our first date — it was way too much of a coincidence to pass up.”
Although Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed — so Phelps can openly acknowledge the relationship — the Defense of Marriage Act is still in effect and the federal government will not officially acknowledge the marriage.
This means that Schock is not eligible for health insurance from the Corps, and when Phelps is deployed next year, his partner will not have access to their home on the Marine base.
“I’m expecting to get orders to Japan next summer, but as of right now, because they’re not going to recognize Ben as my spouse, they’re not going to pay for him to accompany me; he’s not going to have any healthcare coverage; and, he’s not going to have access to the base while I’m gone,” he said. “I’d have to get permission to live out in town as a ‘single officer,’ so we’ll have to figure that out.”
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