Ben + Matthew’s Wedding Registry

Ben and I will be getting married in a few weeks and set up our Wedding Registry at With our upcoming move to Okinawa, we don’t have much need for many things. We are, however, concerned about the cost of Ben moving to Okinawa with me, since the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits the military from recognizing Ben as my spouse. That means Ben’s airfare, moving expenses, lodging, and medical will be on us. The expense will run into the thousands of dollars. If you’d care to contribute to help us meet these costs until DOMA is repealed, please visit our registry and consider donating to our Okinawa Fund. We will donate anything beyond the actual costs to continuing the fight for LGBT equality.

Author: Matthew

U.S. Marine Corps officer living in North Carolina. The views expressed here are my own, and are in no way intended to represent the United States Marine Corps, Department of Defense or any of its components.

4 thoughts on “Ben + Matthew’s Wedding Registry”

  1. Reblogged this on walkingphilly and commented:
    Matthew has done a great service for both our country and the LGBT community’s quest for marriage equality, by coming out [as an active Marine] and by his words and actions as an out serviceman. If anyone’s in a position to do so, please consider donating to his and Ben’s fund for their move to Okinawa… since, because of their status as gay men, the military will not. Good luck to both of you, Matthew and Ben! And congratulations!

  2. Congratulations to you both. I have lived on Okinawa on two separate occasions of my father’s tour of duty. About 5 years each time and the last one ended May 20th, 1973. Yes, a really long time ago but somethings don’t change (much). From pictures I have seen, the island is a lot more congested but the beaches still seem to be beautiful as ever.

    One point to note: The Okinawans/Japanese are not hostile people, just know that if you encounter a “stiff/unfriendly” attitude it is based upon (literally) decades of cases of abuse (by the heterosexual group) of their women and (unforuntately) children with the added insult of not being able to prosecute anyone because of UCMJ. There may be a rare instance of military personnel being subjected to the civilian courts but I believe it to be extremely rare.

    Caution: Even in the new millennium, the Japanese are conservative people as a nation. That being said, being gay is far from being a common or accepted lifestyle. This is more true in Okinawa than Tokyo. After all that you have written of your struggles in your blog, I am not suggesting that you re-open the closet door but I am saying be well aware of the mindset that you are surrounded by. You are U.S. military with baggage thrown at you from the past and you are both gay and proud. Two strikes even before you step off the plane in Naha.

    Having said all this, I sincerely hope that your stay in Okinawa is nothing short of amazing. I envy your opportunity there. I lived through the riots to end U.S. occupation; I remember clearly that as of mid-night of May 14th, 1972, Okinawa changed after 27 years from being LEFT HAND drive to RIGHT HAND and all the vehicle collisions that ensued. I also remembered that the U.S. dollar was okay to use anywhere in the economy but not okay on the 15th when literally everything changed to YEN. It was an amazing time of change. Shuri castle was nothing but a bunch of rocks of where the castle once stood and no monorail existed. The only main artery running north and south was a 4 lane freeway shared by military vehicles traveling up and down the island.

    One favor please. Once you have settled into your new home, please share photos of what Okinawa looks like now when and if the spirit moves you.

    Read every word of your blog, admire your courage, and thanks for serving to protect us.

    A Japanese American.

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