Two amendments are trying to be added to the National Defense Authorization Act. The first was offered by Rep. Palazzo (R-MS), who made the argument that this amendment is needed because same-gender ceremonies were taking place on military bases in direct violation of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). But, the Congressman is misinformed. DOMA does not prohibit same-gender marriages from taking place on federal property. Indeed, DOMA does not restrict individual activities; it simply addresses the recognition the federal government may give to them.
Military facilities are supposed to be available to all of those serving, regardless of what type of ceremony is taking place.
The second, and most disgusting, would allow "conscience protections" for service members and chaplains who don't wish to work with their gay and lesbian colleagues. This means that a chaplains can refuse to provide help, even though they are already bound to provide counsel regardless of a soldiers religious affiliation. To be clear, chaplains have never and will never be required to perform a ceremony the do not want to. This also allows other service members the ability to refuse to work with a gay or lesbian, causing unit disruptions and overt discrimination.
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