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House OK’s amendment to Defense bill to prohibit gay unions on military bases

Friday, July 20, 2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill that would prohibit military chaplains from performing same-sex ceremonies and would prevent military installations from being used for such ceremonies.

The amendment, which was introduced by U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), requires that no money spent on the military will be used to “contravene” the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

U.S. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

King said a Sept. 2011 authorization by the Defense Department that said, “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,” was “not just permission,” but that it “implied encouragement to conduct same-sex marriages on our military bases.”

“This amendment prohibits the use of military facilities or the pay of military chaplains for being used to contravene the defense of marriage act,” King said.

Army veteran and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis said the language in King’s amendment offers nothing new, as federal funds can not be spent in contravention of federal law.

“With this amendment, the Congressman is wasting Congress’ time and energy by restating current law in an attempt to infringe upon the rights of chaplains to practice their own faith and relegate gay and lesbian service members to second-class status by restricting their use of military facilities,” said Sarvis.

“Clearly, Congressman King doesn’t understand what the Defense of Marriage Act actually does. It does not prohibit a chaplain from performing a same-sex ceremony that is consistent with the tenets of his or her faith, and it does not prevent the use of military facilities for private religious ceremonies.”

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) called the amendment “discriminatory” and said it had no place in the appropriations bill.

“We should have a debate on the effects of DOMA on our service members and their families,” Dicks said, “but introducing this contentious and discriminatory amendment is not the place.”

The Defense Authorization Bill provides for the budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Republican-controlled House approved the amendment 247-166, and now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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40 more reader comments:

  1. What an idiot!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:17am
  2. They are a disgusting bunch

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:17am
  3. smh this is crazy!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:18am
  4. Another reason to emigrate.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:19am
  5. wtf is wrong with this country assholes

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:19am
  6. It pains me to see news like this. :(

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:20am
  7. Another reason to cut spending by stopping congress from being paid!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:21am
  8. Legalize Gay…We aren’t going away.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:22am
  9. too bad the Senate won’t pass it. Can they focus on ‘real’ issues?

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:23am
  10. I wish they would be like “all gay marriage is legal, and all gay rights are granted”. Stop with this bullshit. We just want equality.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:23am
  11. LMAO :-{P}

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:24am
  12. house is stupid

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:25am
  13. so if i am thinking correctly they cant stop whats already happening till the Senate allows iit?

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:25am
  14. Unbe_uckinglievable.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:26am
  15. Because gay soldiers didn’t fight in wars to be treated this way.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:27am
  16. Forgive my language, but that is absolute bullshit. You serve and protect our country and deserve at least that paltry benefit (though you absolutely deserve so much more).

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:27am
  17. Half of this bull is $$$$$ but in the long run it saves $$$ when everyone is equal.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:28am
  18. They’re trying to hold on to whatever they can to appease their constituents.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:28am
  19. This assholes are just putting forth legislation that will get nowhere in the Senate so they can campaign on it when recess comes in August. It’s all fun and games to put other people’s loves and lives on the line in the pursuit of their CONGRESSIONAL SEATS.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:29am
  20. do they seriously expect this to pass the senate? lamentable waste of taxpayer time and money.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:30am
  21. They appear to be pandering to their conservative power base, knowing they can blame the Democrats & moderates in the Senate when it fails. They accomplish nothing in the arena of law, while boosting their own popularity and scapegoating their opponents. Cynical, but that’s politics.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:32am
  22. If it wasn’t a hazard with snipers, I’d love to go fight in a bright pink uniform.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:32am
  23. im sure piink would make the enemy thing wait what is that and why am i shooting at it

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:34am
  24. Of course…the military’s OK with this. But a few bigoted men in power have to ruin it for everyone who simply want to profess their LOVE to the partner they’ve chosen to spend their Life with. Amazing!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:39am
  25. asshats.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:40am
  26. backlash begins…

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:42am
  27. In Hawaii we were ahead of the times when we staged the 1st Gay Pride Parade on Fort Derussy (army base) in 1990

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:43am
  28. again the gop is bigot led

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:45am
  29. These people don’t give a Damn about anyone cept themselves.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:47am
  30. this is what you get when citizens are convinced religion belongs in politics and enough of them fall for it at the expense of the religious freedoms of all.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:50am
  31. this is disgusting and un-american! the house is screwed up anyway!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:51am
  32. Ok folks another effort by GOP to screw with gay people rather than find solutions to real problems (but then again they are the real problem)

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 11:55am
  33. And he’s IOWA’s representative. . .one of the few states that allow SSM. Bet that sticks in his craw every day.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 12:01pm
  34. Schmuck!!!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 12:04pm
  35. the HOUSe of REPS DOES NOT REPRESENT AMERICA it REPRESENTS BIGOTRY and HATRED

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 12:20pm
  36. do they mean the US republican house?

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm
  37. Total crap!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 1:17pm
  38. Fail!

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 1:20pm
  39. Well, the House is mostly a cesspit pandering to the tiny but hugely vocal Christian version of Al Qaeda currently. If this hasn’t taught most of us by now that we can’t be complacent with our votes, nothing will till those pathetic excuses for humanity find some way to strip every last right from us as the lunatics have proposed. Ok kids, you need to get off your angry soapboxes, dirty your hands a little bit and start getting involved in the political process–the very thing that sends a cold sweat down the backs of your average misogynistic, immigrant-hating, old, wealthy Anglo-Saxon Teapublicans. Do your research, find the moderate and LGBT-friendly candidates and work to influence votes locally. It is our Democracy too, much as the haters are loath to admit and they know that till the last couple of years they could count on our general apathy and inaction to keep the bigots in power. Don’t enable ignorance and hatred anymore by just standing by. Speak at the voting booth and everyone might be pleasantly surprised at how much smoother things might run with the hateful space cadets out of the way in Congress. Just remember, we all the government we so richly deserve in the end based on our actions.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 3:43pm
  40. What the freak they cant do that.

    Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012 at 4:10pm