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GOP senators introduce bill to prohibit same-sex ceremonies on military bases

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. Senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would prohibit same-sex unions from being held on military bases.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), introduced the Military Religious Freedom Act, which explicitly outlines how the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be applied to the Department of Defense.

Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali and Will Behrens in a civil union ceremony presided by a Navy chaplain at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in June 2012.

Specifically, the bill would prevent military chaplains from being forced to perform a marriage ceremony if the chaplain objects for reasons of conscience, and prohibit marriage or marriage-like ceremonies at military facilities that are not a union between one man and one woman.

“The Defense of Marriage Act remains law, and as policy changes are implemented by the Department of Defense, the statute must be followed,” Wicker said. “This legislation also protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains who are serving our nation in the Armed Forces.”

“President Obama and his administration are dismissing their responsibility to uphold the law of the land by unilaterally deeming DOMA unworthy of enforcement,” said Inhofe.

“At the same time, since the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, they have begun to pressure military chaplains to fall in line with their liberal same-sex marriage agenda. This bill protects military chaplains from being forced to go against their conscience and religious beliefs in regard to this issue. This is something the chaplains that serve this country need and deserve,” Inhofe added.

In June, the first public same-sex civil union was performed at the U.S. Joint Base McGuire-Dix located near Lakehurst, N.J. A private commitment ceremony was held previously in May at Fort Polk in Louisiana, although civil unions nor same-sex marriages are legal in that state.

Last year, the Department of Defense authorized military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in accordance with state law. The authorization allows military chaplains to participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize same-sex marriage.

The Department of Justice stopped defending DOMA in federal court actions after a determination by both President Obama and U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder last spring.

Congressional GOP leaders, angered by what they labeled a blatant disregard for prescribed constitutional duties by the administration, replaced the Justice Department lawyers with a team of outside private lawyers paid for by the U.S. House of Representatives to continue to defend the statue in federal court actions.

A spokesperson for the administration Wednesday declined to comment on the proposed legislation.

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39 more reader comments:

  1. Ban ALL weddings on military bases.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:22pm
  2. More sleaze from your neighborhood slime.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:22pm
  3. Jobs! Focus! Debt Limit! Focus! Off the Cliff! Focus!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:22pm
  4. Excuse me? Why not we prohibit STRAIGHT ceremonies on bases and see how YOU feel!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:22pm
  5. They want to ban same-sex ceremonies then they should ban straight as well.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:25pm
  6. Gonad obsessed idiots

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:25pm
  7. Why am i not surprised?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:25pm
  8. don’t these hateful bastards have more important things to worry about.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:26pm
  9. So does this allow chaplains to refuse to marry black and interracial couples for reasons of conscience?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:26pm
  10. Get the f+ck over it GOP

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:27pm
  11. Ban ALL marriage on military bases and see how the straight couples like it!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:28pm
  12. FUCK THE GOP!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:32pm
  13. Senators from Oklahoma and Mississippi. Just trying to score points from their bigoted, homophobic bases. Both states have horrible hum civil right historys.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:34pm
  14. blow it out your bu**hole GOP

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:35pm
  15. What a couple of GOP dicks.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:43pm
  16. Which part of FIRST AMENDMENT cant they remember ?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:45pm
  17. From the same people who brought you Ban all Pagan/ Wiccan religious meetings on military bases.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:48pm
  18. now only if they would put that same energy into creating jobs…bigoted bullies that’s all they are.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:52pm
  19. So it is okay for gay and lesbians to lay down their lives defending America’s ideals and rights, but not to get married? Another example of how twisted the GOP is. Wanna turn the economy around? Put aside the basic human rights issue just for a for a moment. Allow gay marriage and just think. Do you have any idea how much money would be spent on these unions? They would be LAVISH, huge events! Helping the catering community, the venues, the floral industry. And the GIFTS! The money spent on wedding presents alone would pump insane amounts of cash into the economy. If you have trouble admitting that everyone has the right to happiness, equality, basic human rights, how about you think about the financial benefits to the economy.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:57pm
  20. Ditto ^ Let’s focus on matters that are truly important

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:00pm
  21. The Grand Ole Pricks dont have nothing better to do

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:05pm
  22. Gahd. Hate thre TOP

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:17pm
  23. Why don’t they focus on real problems like creating jobs, reducing the deficit, and how crappy their party is to gays!

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:29pm
  24. whatever happened to separation of church and state?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:48pm
  25. OMG (pun intended) Section 4-e, 4-h, and others already state that chaplains are not required to perform ceremonies or lead prayers that violate their personal tenets of faith. WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY SENATORS.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 9:52pm
  26. Jobs? The deficit? Is this the only thing Republiscum have to do? Can’t they EVER get their noses out of other people’s private lives and get to work on the business of the nation?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:16pm
  27. It truly boggles my mind how some people in our government can’t seem to make out the clear boundaries between a legally recognized marriage and a ceremony. Who cares if it is “marriage-like”? It has no legal standing and performing a ceremony breaks no laws whatsoever. If gay couples can’t have a ceremony on military grounds, then straight couples shouldn’t be able to either. Marriage under the law is LEGAL. The government doesn’t care if you’re married in a church, at the beach, on military grounds, or wherever. The only thing that matters to the government is if you sign the papers making it official. The bottom line is that regardless of if it is a straight couple or a gay couple, the ceremony itself has no legal standing. It’s pure discrimination to deny gay couples to hold a ceremony on state grounds while allowing other couples to do it.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:22pm
  28. I’ve never seen so many straight men obsessed with gay people.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:28pm
  29. They attack what they hate, they hate what they fear, they fear what they don’t understand. How hard is it for some people to understand love?

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 10:41pm
  30. what are they afraid holding gay ceremonies well make the military look bad or something or do they really hold that much hatred for LGBT people who serve in the military right along side the straight people.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 11:49pm
  31. Gop = Nasty ugly bigots!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:05am
  32. boo

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 2:18am
  33. Does the stupidity ever stop? Just let people get married, already! I’m tired of all the anti-homosexuality. Isn’t America supposed to be the land of the free? Stop with these stupid anti-living laws.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 3:03am
  34. One of the many things that needs to be taken care of. GOP is one of them. Whatever their fucking problem is, it’s gonna cost them. Dearly. I’ve just about fucking had it with them. Not joking.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 4:20am
  35. It’s wrong to ban these ceremonies on bases but chaplains should not be forced to officiate (sp?) them. Everyone has rights even right wingers.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 6:42am
  36. Two senators = dorks

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 7:29am
  37. erg!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 10:33am
  38. If gay men and women who are willing to die for their country cannot have the RIGHT to marry on base then straight military members should not be afforded that right either. This is just another example of how threatening the GOP is to everything America is SUPPOSE to stand for. I wonder how many of these GOP senators served in the military? I’m betting not many. Grow up America and vote in politicians who will be more concerned with repairing our economy and appalling lack of social programs instead of taking other Americans rights away.

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 11:27am
  39. Move on people!

    Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:53pm