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Hill Air Force Base to allow same-sex weddings

Published December 29, 2013 2:53 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

With same-sex marriage legal in Utah, Hill Air Force Base has become one of the few U.S. military installations where such unions can be performed.

As of Thursday, no same-sex marriages had occurred at Hill, said base spokesman Richard Essary, who said he conferred with chaplains there. But Essary confirmed such ceremonies will be allowed at Hill, which has more than 20,000 military and civilian personnel.

The U.S. military allows same-sex marriage ceremonies on installations in states that recognize gay marriage, but with the highest concentration of U.S. military installations in southern states that ban such unions, few brides and grooms have gotten to wear their dress uniforms in a same-sex ceremony and walk under an archway of sabres or rifles.

Utah became the 18th state to allow same-sex marriage when federal Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down the state's Amendment 3 this month. That's not to say same-sex couples will be a new phenomenon at Hill.

Master Sgt. Angela Shunk and Tech Sgt. Stacey Shunk were transferred to Hill from Aviano Air Base, Italy, earlier this year as the first same-sex couple to be receive what the military calls a join spouse assignment, according to a September article in Stars and Stripes.

ncarlisle@sltrib.com

Twitter: @natecarlisle