Airman and Partner United in Civil Union on NJ Military Base


An Air Force Airman wed his partner in a civil union on a New Jersey military base over the weekend, the AP reports:

Dozens of friends and family members attended Saturday afternoon’s ceremony for Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali and Will Behrens. It was presided over by Kay Reeb, a Navy chaplain with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, who also serves at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

“We are so honored to be a part of this historic moment to be one of the first gay couples allowed to unite in a civil union on a military base,” the couple said in a statement after the ceremony.

“We hope to be an inspiration to others in the LGBT community that struggle with the challenge of marriage equality. And that this issue is not just about the military, but the equal sacrifice and shared burdens of our loved ones who are civilians.”

OutServe, the association of actively-serving LGBT U.S. military personnel and one of the largest LGBT employee resource groups in the world, released a statement on the ceremony:

“We congratulate Will and Erwynn on today’s joyful ceremony,” said Josh Seefried, Co-Director of OutServe. “Our best wishes go to the entire Umali-Behrens family – as well as our gratitude for their courage in sharing this extraordinary event with all of us.

In addition, we want to recognize the tremendous support of the Joint Base MDL family, especially our chaplains. Not just the chaplain who presided over the ceremony, but all of the Joint Base chaplains exemplify the highest ideals of the military chaplaincy, serving their airman, soldiers, and sailors with caring, compassion, and commitment. Their dedication to service made this historic event possible.”

(photo jeff sheng)


  1. Daniel Berry, NYC says

    Hasten the day that this becomes a commonplace. But for now–it’s delightful! And what a sweet looking couple…

  2. kit says

    In this world with so much pain and hatred, it’s always so nice to get some good news! Congratulations, guys! Best wishes for a long and happy life together.

  3. UFFDA says

    My, we sure have come a long way from shooting down the Japs to marrying them!

    Mazel tov.

  4. Keith says

    @UFFDA Not sure where you read that he’s Japanese, unless it was a general comment on his ethnicity. The term “Japs” is still on par with other racial epithets.

    Congratulations to the couple, and may it be a long and happy union.

  5. says

    Many happy returns to the newly-unions 😉 May Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali and Mr. Will Behrens have a lifetime of wonderful memories together!

  6. UFFDA says

    Oh dear, we have a saboteur among us. That is not me UFFDA, it’s probably ENDO. I am no racist at all. Fakery in names is pretty rotten, only for the insecure.

  7. James says

    Will and Erwynn are good friends of mine, I have known them for years, and I’m both delighted for their union and also lol’ing hard that people I know are on Towleroad haha.

  8. UFFDA says

    Thanks KEITH. A lot of things are fake about ENDO, first his intellect, now his character. Wages of a herpetarium upbringing.

    Must confess – I tried the fake name once using LITTLE KIWI (because he does it so much to RICK). But that didn’t feel good at all…strictly for the reptiles.

  9. endo says

    LOL!! Nice try, Uffda, but no, wasn’t me. I don’t have to spoof your comments to show that you’re a moronic turd. They speak for themselves.

  10. andrew says

    Congratulations guys! This old USN veteran , while admitting that I am jealous of your good fortune in this new more open and healthier nation, wishes you years and years of good health and happiness TOGETHER.