Marine Captain Matthew Phelps decided that he needed to do something special when he proposed to his boyfriend Ben Schock. Phelps proposed to Schock in the Grand Foyer of the White House at the end of a holiday tour. According to Phelps “Our first date was to the White House, so I wanted to propose to him there. When I got invited to the holiday tour – six months to the day that we had been there on our first date – it was way too much of a coincidence to pass up.”
News centers are reporting that this is the first time that two men have gotten engaged in the White House, and the first time for an active-duty member of the military.
According to Phelps, his engagement has been well received by his peers in the Marine Corps, but “The one thing that is overshadowing things is the fact that the Defense of Marriage Act is still in effect and the DOD [Defense Department] isn’t going to recognize our marriage.
Phelps has also said that “I’m expecting to get orders to Japan next summer, but as of right now, because they’re not going to recognize Ben as my spouse, they’re not going to pay for him to accompany me; he’s not going to have any health care coverage; and, he’s not going to have access to the base while I’m gone. I’d have to get permission to live out in town as a ‘single officer,’ so we’ll have to figure that out.”
The US Supreme Court is set to review the constitutionality of DOMA next year.