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Lawmakers order Pentagon to define marriage as between one man and one woman

Religion News Service

WASHINGTON — House lawmakers voted Thursday (July 7) to order the Pentagon to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

In an amendment to a larger Defense Department funding bill, the House voted 248-175 to restrict the Pentagon from granting same-sex couples the same rights or benefits as married couples. The amendment is also aimed at keeping military chaplains from officiating at same-sex weddings.

The move comes at the Pentagon appears poised to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military. After the Obama administration called the 1996 law unconstitutional and signaled it will no longer defend it in court, conservatives said the Pentagon needs strict guidance on following the law.


Earlier this year, the Navy suspended a plan to allow Navy chaplains to conduct same-sex weddings on military bases in states where it is legal. After pushback from religious conservatives, Navy officials agreed to study the issue further before adopting any new policies.

“I believe it’s incumbent on the Congress to make this issue very clear so that we don’t have confusion on these military bases when we talk about same-sex marriages,” said Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind.

The House has yet to act on another amendment, sponsored by Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., that would prohibit the Pentagon from implementing a chaplain training program on the repeal of the Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said that amendment “would substitute Congress’s micromanagement for the judgment of our military leaders on training issues, and it is a transparent attempt to interfere with the repeal of DADT in any way possible.”


Copyright 2011 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment pagansister

    Let’s go backwards, shall we? Lift DADT, but deny marriage to same gender military couples? Congress needs their collective heads examined!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    How many gay American soldiers have died for Congress’s freedom to discriminate against them? Also, how many died that we don’t know about because they were not allowed to be honest about their sexuality and still serve their country? Clearly not enough for Reps. Huelskamp and Burton to abandon this crusade of theirs.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jamie Huff

    Following this same train of logic, how many pedophile American soldiers have died? Does fighting and dying as American soldiers somehow justify or erase such sin? Should we now allow pedophiles to be honest about their sexuality and still serve their country? The Bible is clear. Homosexuality is sin. Period.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    I can remember when Congress didn’t have religious fanatics working against the people of the U.S.A. Unfortunately the religious fanatics have gotten these wreckers in and now the important work that is supposed to be worked on in our Congress is being shoved aside to carry out their bibical mission against the LGBT and the citizens of America that want this circus stopped.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cknuck

    Has nothing to do with religion but marriage, and it shouldn’t be changed. If it is changed for one thing then it will be open to change for other things. Trying to lump lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, and so-called transsexuals is a claim that all of their differences are the same. In order for one to accept that all of these deviations from heterosexuality are one condition is asking for simple minded majority and that is not possible.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mordred08

    Homosexuality is not the same as pedophilia. Plain and simple.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment LutheranChik

    Equating homosexuality with pedophilia is like equating heterosexuality with wife-beating and prostitution. And it’s the increasingly desperate last resort of bigots.

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