Amidst the twinkling holiday decorations in the White House, active duty U.S. Marine Corps Captain Matthew Phelps got down on one knee on Saturday and proposed to his partner, Ben Schock.

Though it’s not the first LGBT proposal to happen at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as other outlets are reporting (a transgender man popped the question in June), it was the first between two gay men.


Phelps wrote on his Facebook page:

“Such a special night surrounded by wonderful people in an amazing place, and the best is still yet to come with Ben Schock. Thanks for all the wonderful greetings and messages, and thanks to Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for lending us your home for the occasion!”

Phelps chose the White House because it was the location of their first date, six months earlier. Though no date has been officially decided upon, the couple plans to marry in the spring before Phelps is transferred to his next duty station, which will likely be overseas.


The photos have made their Internet rounds, lifting Phelps and Schock to civil rights symbol status.The responses have been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, I think the only negative comments have been critiques of our wardrobe selection. If the worst thing anyone has to say is that they don’t like my tie, I think we have come quite a long way,” says Phelps in an interview with The Atlantic Wire. “I don’t feel like a gay-rights symbol. I feel like a Marine, a son, a brother, an uncle, a friend and now a fiancé. I’ll soon learn how it feels to be a husband to an amazing man. I believe in my service, I believe in love, and I believe in equality. That doesn’t make me a symbol, that makes me human.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!