Navy Officer, Partner Wed as 'Don't Ask' Ends
Pair marry in Vermont the minute policy becomes history
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2011 1:38 AM CDT
Updated Sep 20, 2011 7:57 AM CDT
Navy Lt. Gary Ross, right, and Dan Swezy celebrate after exchanging wedding vows on at midnight last night in Duxbury, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

(Newser) – Navy Lt. Gary Ross, like every other gay and lesbian service member, was free to disclose his sexuality as of midnight—and he did it in style. The 33-year-old lieutenant and his partner of 11 years traveled from their home in Arizona to Vermont so they could marry as the clock struck 12 and "Don't Ask Don't Tell" became history, AP reports. "This is Gary's official coming out," said the justice of the peace, who proclaimed the marriage at midnight.

The end of the policy will make his life—and his work—easier, says Ross. The old policy "required you to lie several times a day," he explained. "Being in the military is extremely invasive. It becomes a web of excuses you make when you try to be as honest as possible but you can't be honest," he added. "If you're standing watch at midnight on a surface ship there's not much to talk about. It becomes very difficult to trust someone you can't be honest with."

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Sep 20, 2011 12:49 PM CDT
they may have married, but the policy doesn't cover the marriage. The federal government defines marriage between a man and woman. They can't have base housing, his spouse doesnt get any benefits (other than being a beneficiary for his life insurance-but thats because anyone can be your beneficiary), no medical/dental, none of the use of facilities on base, no access to any of the family counseling or assistance. The policy only says its ok to be gay and serve.
Sep 20, 2011 11:57 AM CDT
"Soldier in Iraq": Hey Gary, where you going on Christmas leave? "Gay Soldier": Going to book my boy friend's whammer for 2 weeks, you? "Soldier in Iraq": .......................................
Sep 20, 2011 11:31 AM CDT
I think it is great they have been together 11 years... longer than a lot of "married" hetro couples... like say Newt (just guessing on that I don't know how long each of his 3 marriages lasted)