British Military Hosts Gay Wedding Reception In Barracks
This weekend a British soldier followed his gay partnership ceremony with a reception in his regiment's barracks.
One groom wore ceremonial uniform with his Iraq medal, the other morning dress with an orchid. Surrounded by silverware and paintings commemorating great battles, Lance Corporal James Wharton, 23, and his new husband enjoyed their first dance to Tina Turner in the warrant officers' mess of the most prestigious regiment in the land. The Household Cavalry, famed for escorting the Queen during state occasions and the fact that it counts both her grandsons among its officers, celebrated its first gay wedding in style. L/Cpl Wharton was joined in a civil partnership with his boyfriend, the Virgin air steward Thom McCaffrey, 21, surrounded by members of L/Cpl Wharton's regiment, the Blues and Royals. "The entire regiment has been really supportive," he said. "When I went to ask the Squadron Leader, Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah, for permission to get married, he just said 'This is fantastic, congratulations'." "The lads joked it was the gay event of the year. Everyone was excited. It was the talk of the barracks. This generation of soldiers is completely liberal," added the junior non-commissioned officer, whose only regret was that some of his friends would not be back from Afghanistan in time to enjoy the nuptials.Troop leader Captain Michael Fry: "I hope people will focus less on L/Cpl Wharton's sexuality, and more on the fact that he is a good soldier."
(Tipped by JMG reader Rob)