When Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were searching for a place to get married, they settled on a site in Vermont, in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone.
That way, the two men could recite their vows at the first possible moment after the formal repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The partners of 11 years plan to get married at the stroke of midnight, just as the ban ends.
“We feel that it’s important that as soon as we’re allowed to commit to each other that we do,” Ross said Monday. “It’s important not to hide anymore.”
Hours before the change was to take effect early today, the American military was also making final preparations for the historic policy shift. The Pentagon announced that it was already accepting applications from openly gay candidates, although officials said they would wait a day before reviewing them.
Ross, 33, and Dan Swezy, a 49-year-old civilian, traveled from their home in Arizona so they could get married in Vermont, the first state to allow gays to enter into civil unions and one of six that have legalized same-sex marriage.