5 months after their groundbreaking engagement at the White House in December, Matthew Phelps and Ben Schock took it one step further last Friday to say "I Do." The couple was married to each other in Seattle.
Phelps, an active duty U.S. Marine Corps captain proposed to his partner, Schock at the White House last December, making him the first gay man to do so at President Obama’s dwelling. The couple was amazed by the number of support they received after the picture of their White House engagement was shared by the American Military Partner Association, and later republished by Towerload, Gawker and other media sites.
"I wanted to propose to Ben at the White House because that's where we went for our first date, to the LGBT Pride Month Reception in June," said Phelps in an interview with the Huffington Post. "When we received an invitation from the Military Partners and Families Coalition to attend the White House holiday tour on Dec. 15, the coincidence that it would be the 6-month anniversary of our first date — and also to the White House — was too big not to capitalize on."
After the historical proposal in December, the couple decided to travel to Seattle for their wedding. In their personal blog, the couple shared their decision of moving to Okinawa, Japan in summer, 2013. However, rather than making actual items the choice for their wedding registry, the couple wished their friends and family could help them with the expense of moving to Japan, since the military wasn't offering to cover it because of DOMA.
Friday's wedding in Seattle saw Schock dressed in a black tux while Phelps put on his military uniform for the occasion. The couple planned to go to Hawaii for their honeymoon. They shared the joy and love that they are giving to each other in Hawaii through their personal blog.
"While we have been in paradise, our wedding photos have made their way around the interwebs," said Phelps in a blog post. "We saw links on Towleroad, The Advocate, Out.com, the Guardian, and the Huffington Post. They're probably elsewhere by now, but we are busy with loving each other and not worrying about anything else for a week."
Restrictions imposed by DOMA is still preventing same-sex couples like Phelps and Schock from enjoying their lives as other heterosexual couples do. Nevertheless, their case also shows other same-sex couples that despite challenges posed by law and the political system, there are always ways to work around the system and enjoy life as much as they want. If the system is not changing fast enough, then we should show them how to make it work.