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WWII, Vietnam vets marry in veterans home first same-sex wedding

Saturday, September 14, 2013

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Two U.S. military veterans married this week when a senior living facility for military veterans held its first ever same-sex marriage.

John Banvard (left) and Gerard Nadeau

John Banvard (left) and Gerard Nadeau

John Banvard, 95, a World War II veteran, married his partner of 20 years, Gerard Nadeau, 67, a Vietnam veteran, in a ceremony Thursday at the Veterans Home of Chula Vista in suburban San Diego.

The couple told KSWB-TV they wanted to have their ceremony among friends, so they chose to have it at the Veteran’s Home, where they’ve lived for the last three years.

The decision to get married was made after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, and another decision that cleared the way for gay couples to marry in California.

“We were waiting on the Supreme Court to make that decision,” said Banvard.

The simple ceremony was attended by the couple’s friends who also live at the facility one of whom noted, “The world is changing, we have to go along with it.” said one guest.

KSWB-TV reports:

Facility director Neal Asper said news of two men getting married at the VA home wasn’t well received by everyone. A town hall meeting was held at the VA home to address concerns from other residents.

“It’s been somewhat controversial,” said Asper. “I told them, they have the right to get married here just like everybody else.”

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16 more reader comments:

  1. *CHEERS!!!!*

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 7:51pm
  2. Congratulations gentlemen!

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 8:10pm
  3. awesome

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 8:19pm
  4. Aww, this is so precious!!! Congrats guys!

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 8:20pm
  5. Awesome and I wish them joy and enjoyment in each other!!!’

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 8:24pm
  6. That’s AWESOME!!!!

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:35pm
  7. congrats to you two

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:34pm
  8. i wanna do a threesome with dem

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 11:28pm
  9. *melt*

    Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 11:44pm
  10. Love, sweet love.

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 12:16am
  11. How Wonderful! Congratulations!

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 1:02am
  12. Congratulations & thank you for your service to the U.S! You are appreciated!

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 2:43am
  13. Congrats to you both.

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 1:26pm
  14. :)

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 1:33pm
  15. tears of joy for them!

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 2:23pm
  16. Congrats! This is amazing.

    Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 10:38pm