Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News


Military chaplains won’t be forced to conduct same-sex marriages

posted by

A Navy chaplain performs a traditional marriage

U.S. military chaplains asked to perform weddings will not be forced to violate their consciences nor the doctrines of their faith — and may decline to officiate nuptials for homosexual couples.

The ruling came in a memo from Clifford Stanley, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

The same memo says chaplains are permitted to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies on military bases in the six states where such are allowed: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont — will not be forced to do so. Forty-one states have either laws or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage.

The decision “threatens to reignite the contentious debate in Congress over gays and lesbians in the military,” notes Charles Hoskinson in Politico. Federal law does not recognize same-sex marriages.

In fact, a number of Congressmen vowed to overturn the Pentagon ruling.

The memo notes that “a chaplain is not required to participate or officiate in a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religious or personal beliefs,” writes staff writer Andrew Tilghman for the Army Times, a civilian-owned newspaper. “In addition, a chaplain’s participation “does not constitute an endorsement of the ceremony” by the Defense Department.

In a separate memo also released Friday, Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson directed base commanders to make decisions about the use of Defense Department “real property and facilities, private functions for religious and other ceremonies … made on a sexual-orientation-neutral basis, provided such use is not prohibited by applicable state and local laws.”

The move was hailed by homosexual advocacy groups and denounced by conservative groups such as the Concerned Women for America.

“The Pentagon has clearly overstepped its bounds,” said Penny Nance, chief executive officer for the Virginia-based group. “As part of the federal government, the Department of Defense must abide by federal law including the Defense of Marriage Act, which permits marriage only between one man and one woman.”

Congressional lawmakers who opposed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” forced the Navy to reverse itself in April when Navy officials recommended allowing chaplains to perform same-sex marriages. On Friday, lawmakers called the Pentagon’s decision illegal and vowed to block it.

“The Department of Defense has decided to put the White House’s liberal agenda ahead of following the law,” said Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.). “The Defense of Marriage Act makes it clear that for the purposes of the federal government, marriage is defined as between one man and one woman. The use of federal property or federal employees to perform gay marriage ceremonies is a clear contravention of the law.”

The constitutionality of the 1996 law is in doubt after several court rulings against it, and the Obama administration announced in February that it would no longer defend DOMA against challenges. Lawyers for the House of Representatives have stepped in to defend the law, and the issue is eventually expected to reach the Supreme Court.

The Pentagon memo sidestepped extending military benefits to same-sex spouses, stating a chaplain’s participation in a same-sex marriage “does not constitute an endorsement of the ceremony” by the Department of Defense.



  • http://MilitaryChaplainpastoralpractice. The Rev. Dr. Francis E. Jeffery, CH, Lt. Col,USAF (ret)

    The freedom not to believe does not canel out someone elses right to believe. I fought as valiantly for your right not to believe as I did for my right to believe. As a semanticist, I am aware that we can follow the concept that a word means to me what I want it to mean, not what is the general concept for that word.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Waterton

    “Military chaplains won’t be forced to conduct same-sex marriages”

    Mark my words … it’s only a matter of time before Obama and the democrats change WON’T to WILL.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ruth E. Walker

    AS FOR MYSELF,AND MY OWN BELIEFS,I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS RIGHT-(SAME SEX MARRIAGES)- FOR MEN OR WOMEN TO MARRY; ,OR TO ENGAGE IN HOMOSEXUAL ACTS OF ANY KIND.I BELIEVE IT IS WRONG,UNDER GOD,TO APPROVE HOMOSEXUALS TO BE MARRIED.,IN ANY STATE,OR COUNTRY.,ON THIS EARTH.ACCORDING TO GOD,SAME SEX MARRIAGES ARE A SIN,AS IS THEIR ACTS ARE A SIN AS WELL.,AS HUMAN BEINGS,WE ARE NOT PERFECT,NOR BORN PERFECT AND WE WILL MAKE MISTAKES.,BUT WE CAN BE FORGIVEN FOR ANY HUMAN MISTAKES THAT HAPPENS IF WE REPENT AND ARE TRULY SORRY FOR WHAT WE DID.,BUT THEREFORE WE MUST CHANGE OUR WAYS THEN.,NOT TO DO IT AGAIN.JESUS CHRIST IS ALL ABOUT SALVATION,AND FORGIVENESS….JESUS DIED FOROUR SINS “ALL SIN”.THE LAWS FOR AMERICA,FOR THE UNITED STATES,ARE MADE ACCORDING TO WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT MADE DONE AND LEGAL.,THIS COUNTRY IS A FREE COUNTRY INDEED,BUT AS ALL PEOPLE BEING MADE IN THE IMAGE OF OUR ONLY TRUE GOD,WE MUST NOT OVER- STEP OUR AUTHORITY AND LOOK LIKE OR APPEAR TO MAKE NEW LAWS THAT GOD DIDNT MEAN TO HAPEN FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME.,WHEN HE MADE US.MAYBE,INSTEAD OF INTREGATING LAWS TO EFFOECT ALL PEOPLE..JUST PERSONAL LAWS HAVE TO BE MADE TO SATISFY CERTAIN SINFUL BELIEVING ADULTS BUT SUCH LAWS IF PASSED,SHOULD MAYBE,EFFECT ONLY THOSE CHOSEN ADULTS BASED UPON WHAT THE CHOOSE TO DO.WE AS A NATON,CAN ENFORCE,WHERE SIN TAKES PLACE,BUT NOT WHEN IT TAKES PLACE.,I BELIEVE AS A AMERICAN LIVING IN THE USA ,IF PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE IN SIN THAT BAD,MAKE LAWS TO PASS WHAT THEY WANT,BUT THEN THEY WILL HAVE TO ABIDE TO A SPECIFIC AREA TO JUST LIVE AMONGEST THEMSELVES “only”.,AND I WOULD,IF PRESIDENT,DESIGNATE A ISLAND OR AN, SPECIFIC AREA SUCH AS ANOTHER PIECE OF LAND AWAY FROM THE USA OF THE OTHER ADULTS WHO DO NOT ACCEPT THIS TYPE OF LIFESTYLE TO BE LIVED AMONGEST BELIVERS OF GODS LAW.WE HAVE TO ,AS RESPECTFUL AMERICANS,ALSO RESPECT SINFUL AMERICANS,FOR HOW THEY DICIDE TO LIVE.,BUT THE WHITE HOUSE CAN TAKE CONTROL OF SITUATIONS FOR SUCH MINDED ADULTS,AND DIRECT THIS TYPE OF CONDUCT,AND TO MAKE IT A LIFESTYLE CHOSEN TO BY MANY-TO BE LIVED ELSEWHERE,IF CHOSEN TOO.,AS NOT TOO OFFEND ANYONE,IN CONCERN OF A LIFESTYLE.I THINK,FROM THE PAST WARS WON,THAT IT WASNT THE HOMOSEXUALS WHO WON THE WAR,OR STARTED IT,BUT IT WAS MORAL-MINDED RESPECTFUL FAMILIES,WHO CHILDREN WERE RAISED RIGHT ACCORDING TO THE HOLY BIBLE LAWS FROM GOD,TO FIGHT AGAINST ALL EVIL,TO ME-SIN IS FROM STAN,IT IS EVIL,AND ALL EVIL MUST BE FOUGHT AGAINST,..AND DONT AWAY WITH FOR THE SAKE OF SALVATION IN CHRIST FOR A BETTER WORLD TO SERVE GOD IN HEAVEN.,IN PEACE.SAINTS ARE MADE,AND CREATED BY GOD…OUR UPBRINGING AS A FAMILY SHOULD MORALLY AND RESPECTFULLY,BE KEPT AS CLEAN AND HOLY AS POSSIBLE,AS GOD DEMANDS..ACCORDING TO HIS LAWS OF NATURE.GOD DIDNT MAKE,MALE FOR MALES,NOR DID HE MAKE WOMAN FOR ANOTHER WOMAN.,THAT HAS BEEN DEFINED BY GOD.THIS COUNTRY,HAS LAWS,AND MOST LAWS DEFINED “UNDER GOD”… AND IT SHOULD BE KEPT THAT WAY HERE FOR THE ONES WHO ACCEPT GOD,AND WHAT THIS COUNTRY STANDS FOR..AS A NATION.Thanks for letting me comment….today.

  • http://Samesexmarriages mstex

    God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. The ones performing these marriages are not God’s chosen people! They do not live by the Bible. It is morally wrong. They are not true Chritstians. What is this World coming too?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rev. Grant

    In the old testement book called Leviticus the 3rd. book of Moses chap. 20:vs13 If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; thier blood shall be upon them.

    come on people stop lieing; homosexuality is against the laws of God, Nature and man.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Geneva Poole

    Matthew 6: 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Previous Posts

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical churches. [caption id="attachment_12343" align="alignleft" width="48

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, that he would live to see the beginning of a Christian re

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought Out, Murdered in the Kenyan Mall Massacre,” “Judicial

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption id="attachment_12246" align="alignleft" width="480"] Ant

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »

Does Sunday Morning Church Really Need All This Glitter, Showmanship and Gimmickry?
What’s wrong with church today? Are we in danger of turning worship into a flashy concert? Of watering down the message so nobody is offended? Of forgetting the simplicity of the Gospel? I grew up with a preacher’s kid. He was a fake following in the footsteps of his flimflamming father who d

posted 11:26:20am Sep. 20, 2013 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.