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Landmark Church At West Point Hosts First Same-Sex Wedding

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

WEST POINT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) The landmark church at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point hosted its first same-sex wedding Saturday.

Brides Penelope Gnesin and Brenda Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate, exchanged vows in the regal church that serves as the center for spiritual life at the military academy, in a Saturday afternoon ceremony attended by about 250 guests.

The couple has been together for 17 years. They had a civil commitment ceremony that did not carry any legal force in 1999, and had long hoped to marry formally.

The State of New York legalized gay marriage in July 2011. Officials estimate gay marriage had an economic impact of $259 million on New York City alone during the first year.

The state legalized gay marriage months before resident Barack Obama lifted the “don’t ask, don’t tell” that prohibited openly gay people from serving in the military.

The ceremony is was second same-sex wedding at West Point. Last weekend, two of Fulton’s friends got married in another campus chapel.

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