Conflict & Justice

Gay marine, sailor get engaged at California base


A gay member of the US Air Force who chooses to not be identified reads a copy of the new magazine 'OutServe' intended for actively serving lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender, US military members September 15, 2011 in Washington, DC.


Paul J. Richards

A gay marine and sailor at California's Camp Pendleton may be the first same-sex couple to make it official on base, the San Diego LGBT weekly reported.

On Tuesday, Cory Huston asked Avarice Guerrero to marry him, which the news website described as possibly the first "between two gay men – not to mention two war vets – on a US military base."

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Though same-sex marriage was banned in California by Proposition 8, a voter-backed initiative that amended the state's constitution, the two could get married in the District of Columbia, Iowa, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont or New Hampshire, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

But the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which President Obama instructed the Justice Department to stop defending in court, means Huston and Guerrero are not eligible for military spousal benefits.

The San Diego-based news website was there as Huston, who was discharged for being gay under the now-defunct "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, waited for his boyfriend to return from deployment in Afghanistan to pop the question.

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"'This is a huge step for me,' Huston said while pacing and scanning the crowd of fellow friends and family members of returning Marines."

"After a few minutes of emotional holding and kissing, Huston went anxiously down on one knee; looked up at Guerrero, who was dressed from head to toe in military fatigues; and produced an engagement ring and the time-honored phrase, 'Will you marry me?' " the site reported.

Luckily for Huston and for the record books, Guerrero said yes.