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Navy Suspends Policy to Allow Gay Weddings

c. 2011 Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) The U.S. Navy reversed course Tuesday (May 10) on plans to allow chaplains to officiate at same-sex marriage ceremonies once the military’s ban on openly gay members is repealed.

Rear Adm. Mark Tidd, the Navy chief of chaplains, said in a brief announcement to chaplains his previous memo about the repeal of the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy was “suspended until further notice.”

The reversal follows opposition from Republican leaders and some chaplains who argued that permitting gay weddings on bases in states where same-sex marriage is legal violated the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.


“It was suspended in order for us to thoroughly review the associated legal and policy matters,” said Cmdr. Danny Hernandez, a Navy spokesman.

Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokeswoman, recently told the Navy Times that “DOMA does not limit the type of religious ceremonies a chaplain may perform in a chapel on a military installation.”

On Wednesday, Lainez also said the policy is under review.

In his April 13 memo, Tidd said a chaplain “may officiate” at a same-sex wedding if participation is “consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization.”

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, who opposes gays serving openly in the military, said the Navy’s action could be temporary and urged Congress to review Pentagon plans before a full repeal.

“This weather-vane policy is likely to change back as soon as all the branches of service get on board and Congress looks the other way,” she said.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grumpy Old Person

    “Eileen Lainez, a Pentagon spokeswoman, recently told the Navy Times that “DOMA does not limit the type of religious ceremonies a chaplain may perform in a chapel on a military installation.”

    Well, she is/was mistaken. DOMA covers Federal jurisdictins, and military bases are among those.

    It is so sad and disheartening to see justice and equality and liberrty constantly being shat on in America. Equal rights are supposed to be guaranteed, not subjected to popularity contests or “weather-vane” politics.

    “Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness … opposes gays serving openly in the military”

    Too bad she cannot justify her position. What, does she want gays to LIE in order to serve their country? How healthy is that for human beings?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    If our President Obama would come on board and help get rid of DOMA once and for all it would help. Anyone who can make decisions on how to catch Bin Laden should be able to figure a way to kill DOMA! Equality is equality with nothing hanging on it to change the meaning.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    At least the administration is no longer defending it in court. Let’s hope it gets quelled there once, for all and soon.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    it takes a crazy person to believe that a homosexual couple is the same as a normal heterosexual couple, a trip from reality.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    You are not crazy ck, and I know I’m not crazy, so it must be a reality thing. Once you can acknowledge that there are normal homosexual couples as well as normal heterosexual couples, things should come clearer to you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    ck, being called crazy by you is a compliment. Thank you.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    H, things are very clear to me its you that may need clarity especially on sexual matters.

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