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Canadian Military Performs First Gay Wedding

HALIFAX, NS -- The military has marked its first same-sex wedding, more than a decade after gays were allowed to join the Armed Forces.

Two servicemen, who do not want to be named, exchanged vows May 3 at the chapel at CFB Greenwood, N.S., in front of 45 friends and a United Church minister.

Lt.-Cmdr. David Greenwood, the base's head chaplain, said the couple's decision to wed at the military chapel might encourage others to step forward and make their vows official in a setting that not long ago had a policy of excluding them.

"Many people thought they would never have seen something like this in their lifetimes," he said. "So they might be able to provide some comfort and solace to someone who might be in fear."

The couple, one a sergeant; the other a warrant officer, both in their late 30s, approached the chaplain about the possibility of holding the ceremony on the base. They went through a marriage preparation course and a United Church minister was found to conduct the service.

Greenwood said there was no resistance from military or religious officials. "It was something that I was very proud to be able to be involved in," he said.

by Alison Auld, The Canadian Press
June 15, 2005