Bill to Ban Gay Marriage on Military Bases Introduced


A bill introduced in the U.S. House last week aims to prevent gay couples from marrying on military bases and would also prevent chaplains from being “required” to marry same-sex couples — even though the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in no way requires them to do so.


Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp is sponsoring a bill that stipulates the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” cannot be used to force chaplains to do anything against their beliefs, he said in an announcement Friday, including marrying gay partners.

“It will also protect the freedom of those in the military to express vocally the tenets of their faiths. And it will make certain that our military facilities are not used in contravention to the federal Defense of Marriage Act,” he said. “Military installations exist to carry out the national defense of our nation, not to facilitate a narrow social agenda.”

The legislation, called the `Military Religious Freedom Protection Act’ (HR 3828), would “amend title 10, [of the] United States Code, to require that implementation of the repeal of the former Department of Defense policy concerning homosexual behavior in the Armed Forces not infringe upon the free exercise of religion by and the rights of conscience of members of the Armed Forces, including chaplains, and for other purposes.”

The legislation says:

`(2) A military chaplain shall not be directed, ordered, or required to perform any duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, service, or function that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain or contrary to the moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain’s faith group. The refusal by a military chaplain to perform a duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, service, or function that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain or contrary to the moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain’s faith group shall not be the basis for any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment.

`(c) Regulations- The Secretary of Defense shall issue regulations setting forth guidance to implement the protections afforded by this section.’.

It then goes on to stipulate in Section 3:

A military installation or other property owned, rented, or otherwise under the jurisdiction or control of the Department of Defense shall not be used to officiate, solemnize, or perform a marriage or marriage-like ceremony involving anything other than the union of one man with one woman.

This legislation mirrors a bill filed last year in the House. That bill, filed by Missouri Republican Rep. Todd Akin with the backing of more than 80 legislators, served as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. It was however pulled from the final version of the NDAA before it was sent to President Obama.

The Pentagon has repeatedly issued notice that, as a matter of religious and civil autonomy, chaplains may marry same-sex couples in states where same-sex marriage is legal but they will not be forced to do so if it is against their religious convictions.

Aubrey Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, hit out at the legislation, saying in a statement that it is attempting to stir up a problem that doesn’t exist:

“Here they go again with another round of resistance tactics that have already been rejected by Congress and the American people. There is no need for the so-called ‘protections’ in this bill or the proposed regulations.  No chaplain today is being required or pressured to marry anyone, straight or gay. Period.  The bill’s ban on use of military facilities and chaplains officiating at ceremonies for gay and lesbian service members is nothing more than plain, old-fashion discrimination.  There is no place for that prejudice in our armed forces or in our country,” said Sarvis.

You can read the full text of the legislation here.

Related Reading:

Lawmaker Aims to Resurrect DADT in Oklahoma
Gay Soldier Comes Out to Dad to Mark DADT’s End (VIDEO)
Groups Advise Trans Servicemembers Ahead of DADT Repeal

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to the US Army Photostream.


Annmari Lundin
Annmari L5 years ago

Why is it that all (with a few exceptions) republicans put so much effort in keeping or re-introducing discrimination against women, LGBT, sick and unemployed? Have they not heard about the economic depression, homelessness and the need to rebuild this country? They all seem to be only catering to one religion and have not read the Constitution about separation of religion and state. I don't get why the military should even have faith-based positions in its forces. Religious or non-religious beliefs are a private matter, nothing for the government to promote on any level.

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta5 years ago

Like all restrictions put on gay marriage, this is just so silly :-(

jeremy Lovin
jeremy Lovin5 years ago

Oh, hell I could just pull my hair out, it's the same strategy time and time again. You will never heard these right wing Christians complain that someone else 1st amendment rights have been violated but when their right to prosecute people of other faiths and the homosexual community is challenged then they claim their rights are being violated. Their is no right to discriminate against other people's belief systems or choice of lifestyles. Homosexuality is not a political issue that bills should be created to stop, homosexuality is not a crime but harassing, hazing, or personal attacking someone because they don't share your religious beliefs is a crime. It's called a hate crime maybe we should call this bill the the protect of religious hate crimes act. It wasn't all that long ago that some right wing military Christians were attacking other military folks who had different belief systems and some who were homosexuals for not being Christians. And of course the right wing christian community defended their right to discriminate against these people under the first amendment but for some reason the first amendment didn't count for other peoples rights. "when religion and politics ride in the same cart the whirlwind follows" (Frank Hebert, Dune)

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal5 years ago

I thought being in the military meant protecting our freedom to believe as we do.....Don't Ask don't Tell, give me a break and allow people to choose who they love.

annelies j.
annelies j5 years ago

Sabrina, they are so far behind.........

Sabrina S.
Sabrina S5 years ago

The conservative just won't quit. don't they know they are fighting a losing battle.

Maitreya L5 years ago

annelies j. lol, some religious conservatives have some pretty disturbing fantasies, I mean really, gay guys don't all go around raping people in showers. Gay guys have hit on me before and all I had to do was tell them I was straight. No big deal, just a little awkward. LGBT people don't all go around having big orgies either. Gimme a break.

annelies j.
annelies j5 years ago

"Your obsessing over other people's sex lives, just makes you sound perverted."

Green stars! Juanita seems to be just a bit obsessed with "dirty" sex.......

annelies j.
annelies j5 years ago

Juanita G:
"Stop comparing Black people or minorities to folks who like to cruise and pick up over 1000 sex partners in a lifetime, sodomize each other, deviately commit all kinds of perversions and not be happy with that, but want to force their gayness on EVERYONE. No one else forces their sexlife on others...."

What an ignorant thing to say. I guess you don't know many gay people.

Past Member 5 years ago

"Fanaticism and bigotry is forever busy and needs feeding, and soon your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating, we'll be marching backward, backward through the glorious ages of that 16th century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind." -- "Inherit the Wind," (1950), Act II, Scene II.

The bible-beating bunko artists, hate-filled bigots and galactically stupid ignoramuses who have the obscene temerity to call themselves "Christians" should find themselves a theocracy that codifies their warped and unnatural beliefs in law -- and move there with all deliberate speed.