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Veterans home holds 1st gay wedding

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A World War II veteran married his boyfriend of 20 years in a historic ceremony at the Veterans Home of Chula Vista Thursday.

The senior living facility in Chula Vista saw its first ever gay wedding Thursday.

John Banvard, 95, and 67-year-old Gerard Nadeau, who served in Vietnam, said they wanted to have their ceremony among friends, so they chose to have it at the Veteran’s Home, where they’ve lived for the last three years.

gay-coupleThey decided to get married after the Supreme Court’s actions earlier this year, which allowed same-sex couples to marry.

“We were waiting on the Supreme Court to make that decision,” said Banvard.

Many of the couple’s friends who live at the veteran’s home attended the small and simple ceremony.

“The world is changing, we have to go along with it,” said one guest.

Facility director Neal Asper said news of two men getting married at the VA home wasn’t well received by everyone.  A town hall meeting was held at the VA home to address concerns from other residents.

“It’s been somewhat controversial,” said Asper. “I told them, they have the right to get married here just like everybody else.”

One resident told Fox5 he didn’t agree with Banvard and Nadeau’s celebration of their love for each other, but supported their legal right to do so.

“I just know that it’s against my faith and my religion, but as Americans they have a right to do what they want to do,” he said.

The newlyweds hope the wedding will encourage other elderly couples to do the same.

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