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West Point hosts first same-sex marriage

The Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, stipulates that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, states are slowly chipping away at the edict, allowing more same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court has recently agreed to hear several cases regarding the constitutionality of DOMA, which gives hope to same-sex couples around the country.

Moving in that same direction, President Obama recently did away with the policy that prevented openly gay individuals from serving in the military. West Point's military chapel hosted its first same-sex marriage on Dec. 1. The two women, one of whom is a West Point graduate and veteran, were married in the U.S. Military Academy's Cadet Chapel.

The couple resides in New Jersey and wanted to be married there, however, same-sex marriages are not recognized in the state, only civil unions are. One of the women has multiple sclerosis and has lived through breast cancer, so the couple decided they did not want to wait any longer to get married.

In many ways, same-sex married couples have similar experiences to opposite-sex couples. However, because same-sex marriage is still new, and therefore the laws surrounding family issues have not quite caught up, same-sex couples can face very unique issues, particularly around child custody. Because of this, it's important that same-sex couples who are going through a divorce or a custody issue seek legal advice from someone experienced in this realm of the law.

Source: Examiner.com, "First same-sex marriage takes place in Military Chapel at West Point," Carla Ives, Dec. 1, 2012

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