Fayetteville Observer video still, YouTube:

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — On Dec. 22, 2013, The Associated Press reported that Maj. Daniel Toven, 44, and Johnathan Taylor, 24, were married in the base’s Main Post Chapel. It is believed to be the first same-sex ceremony held on the base since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2011.

Fort Bragg is home to the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and the Green Berets and is opening up its chapel for same-sex ceremonies.

The couple welcomed over 100 friends and family members to the ceremony. They had previously held a legal marriage in Washington, D.C., in August 2013.

Toven serves as commander and conductor of the Army Ground Forces Band and Taylor is a registered nurse at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and is pursuing his pre-medical studies at Methodist University and Fayetteville Technical Community College.

Toven told the AP, “For me, it was my hope that someday before I retired that I might see the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ … This? I never imagined in a million years. It’s a dream come true.”

The news service also reported that there were some military family who attended the ceremony and that there was no opposition to the ceremony from post officials and chaplains. Included among guests were Lt. Col. Heather Mack, along with her wife, Ashley Broadway. Broadway made news in early 2013 when she tried to apply for membership to the Officers’ Spouses Club but was barred. Additionally, Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson who became the first military same-sex war widow upon the death of Staff Sgt. Tracy Johnson in Afghanistan in 2012, was there as well.

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Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.