Skip to comments.Pentagon: Military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages
Posted on 10/01/2011 1:31:51 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Just over a week after ending its dont ask, dont tell policy, the Pentagon has released new guidelines permitting military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in states where gay marriage is legal.
A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law, a memo released Friday from Under Secretary of Defense Clifford Stanley read.
Further a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion.
The policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly went into effect on September 20, much to the chagrin of social conservatives who fear it could be a surreptitious way to normalize, and then legalize, gay marriage nationwide. This most recent decision has predictably roiled those already opposed to the repeal of dont ask, dont tell.
The Pentagon has clearly overstepped its bounds by declaring that military chaplains can perform same-sex marriages, said Penny Nance, CEO of the conservative Concerned Women for America.
As part of the federal government, Nance told The Daily Caller, the Department of Defense must abide by federal law including the Defense of Marriage Act, which permits marriage only between one man and one woman. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
Gay marriage advocates cheered the Pentagon memo as a victory for equality.
Now that Dont Ask, Dont Tell is gone, there is nothing prohibiting chaplains whose denominations do not discriminate from treating same-sex couples equally in accordance with state and local laws, said Alex Nicholson, executive director for the gay advocacy group Servicemembers United.
There are many chaplains in the military who simply do not believe that gay and lesbian servicemembers are second-class citizens, he said, and those chaplains should have the freedom to practice their religion as they see fit, including officiating at ceremonies that their denominations recognize.
well all of my reps will be hearing form me and my wife over this.
gutless GOP when it comes to social issues and yet it is a winning issue for us.
I will never vote for a RINO/socially liberal R/moderate ever again. Their claim that they need a moderate to win is absolutely baseless and it proves that the elitist DC professional politician Rs are just as much the enemy of conservatism and the Constitution as the Dems.
The Republican refusal to engage on this issue comes down to two things, I think: 1) They don't believe the policy can hold up in the Federal Courts (even though the Federal Courts have no business involving themselves here, and I believe no actual authority to do so) and 2) they agree with the claim that if a homosexual wants to "serve their country" he/she should be allowed to.
The problem with the first is that the Federal Courts have no jurisdiction. The problem with the second is that the number of homosexuals actually serving in the military is even less than the 2.5% of males and 1.5% of female homosexuals in the general population.
The truth is the opening of the military to unrestricted homosexual behavior is nothing more than an attempt to create a target-rich environment for homosexual litigation. Homosexuals without talent will be promoted to avoid the suits, but many of them will be brought by washouts, malcontents, and others who had no intention to serve in the first place.
And homosexual predators will be bought-off or rewarded for behavior that would have landed them in the brig in the past. Let's face it, with the possible exception of defenseless altar boys, there probably isn't a more appealing meat market for aggressive homosexuals than the US military.
Already pressure is being applied to accept "transgendered" individuals. Eventually, sex-change surgery will be a required benefit of military service, and those undergoing sex changes will ask for medical discharges shortly after "reassignment surgery" probably on the grounds that they're now being "bullied."
It's going to get very ugly, and we're going to lose a lot of talented servicemen as a result.
They re-iterated from the Archbishop of the Military on down to those serving the troops that they will NOT perform this same-sex ceremony.
By the way, the conference was great and I will be posting more information about it.
That’s good news. This could blow up in the Pentagon’s face about the time they try to force a Muslim chaplain into performing one of these fiascos.
SICK! But why not PC has the military providing chaplains and worship places for satanists,wiccans and so on.What is next radical islam being catered to as well?
If Bam-bam wins in 2012 expect an executive order in January of 2013.
Notice the wording: "a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion.
If gay marriage is not explicitly outlawed by his religious hierarchy, then the chaplain WILL BE required to officiate, without regard to his personal opinion on the matter. This will make it hard for many Protestant chaplains.
Pro-choice? Perhaps not, if you’re a military chaplain who believes in traditional marriage, or a hospital worker who is pro-life.
I work in a gay town.We have a man running around dressed like a woman -talking like a woman.This one is in charge of the local paper.God bless these people but they don’t belong open in the military.Guys are going to get pissed off.
Heckuva choice in words there. ;) I am inclined to agree with you. If I were a betting man (I’m not), I’d say that I would not be surprised to learn that the imams were never asked to do it.
Salvation, I am relieved to hear your news. Thank you for sharing it.
Thanks for the information!
That's true but incomplete, 2ndDiv. As a retired military chaplain, most of America doesn't realize that a military chaplain must be recertified annually by his/her denomination.
If they are not, then they are removed from service as a chaplain. Nor can they simply switch denoninations. They must simultaneously have both their losing denomination and their gaining denomination approve of their retention.
Of course, so long as they are on duty status they are at the direction of the officers appointed over them.
My denomination, for example, officially rejects marrying homosexuals. While some United Methodists might do it on the sly, they would not have that luxury in the military in which all would have to be above board by law.
I was just reminding those here who never served in uniform or those who did but didn’t have much interaction with the chaplaincy that the chaplains are actually in the military, not some sort of adjunct or civilian outsourced clergy. Many may not realize that they are under the orders of the president, just like an officer of the line.
Excellent reminders, 2dDivVet. Thanks
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.