Lauren Nygard Photography of Oceanside, CA is back with a first for A Military Story! I support all military people here on the blog so today's post is very special. Lauren shares, "What was going to be an engagement session turned into a full-blown wedding at Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park when the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional last month! Dee and Danielle quickly gathered their family and friends for a quick ceremony followed by lunch at the Tilted Kilt. The ceremony, given by one of Danielle’s fellow sailors, highlighted the love that these two share. Here are a few favorites from the ceremony and a short walk around Balboa Park."
For those who do not know Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was enacted in September 21, 1996 which was a United
States federal law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex
marriages granted under the laws of other
states. DOMA, in conjunction with other statutes, had also effectively
barred same-sex married couples from being recognized as "spouses"
for purposes of federal laws, or receiving federal marriage benefits. Until 2013
it was ruled unconstitutional!!
Also since the previous changes with "Don't ask, don't tell"
(DADT), which was the official United States policy on gays
serving in the military from December 21,
1993, to September 20, 2011, open gays and lesbians have been able to serve. The policy
prohibited people who "demonstrate a propensity or intent to engage in
homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States,
because their presence "would create an unacceptable risk to the high
standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit
cohesion that are the essence of military capability". The act
prohibited any homosexual or bisexual person from disclosing his or her sexual
orientation or from speaking about any homosexual relationships,
including marriages or other familial attributes, while serving in the United
States armed forces. The act specified that service members who disclose that
they are homosexual or engage in homosexual conduct should be separated (discharged) except when a service member's
conduct was "for the purpose of avoiding or terminating military
service" or when it "would not be in the best interest of the armed
forces". The "don't
ask" part of the DADT policy specified that superiors should not initiate
investigation of a servicemember's orientation without witnessing disallowed
behaviors, though credible evidence of homosexual behavior could be used to
initiate an investigation. A lot has changed over the past few years and I for one hope more positive changes will continue for equal rights! Thank you Lauren for sharing this wedding ceremony and if you missed Lauren's surprise proposal post click here.
While photographing Dee and Danielle around Balboa Park, Lauren broke out her Hasselblad to capture a few moments on film. Here are a handful of