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-Pentagon: Gay Weddings now Permitted on Bases and Chaplains May Officiate

by Dr. D ~ October 1st, 2011

The Pentagon, looking northeast with the Potom...

                                               (Image via Wikipedia)

The Pentagon sent out a notification this week that gays in the military can be married on base if same-sex marriages are permitted in the host state. Also, military chaplain’s whose religious affiliation permits it may officiate over gay marriages on or off military bases.

The memo also hypocritically contained a statement absolving the DOD from any ‘official endorsement’ of same-sex marriage:

"a military chaplain’s participation in a private ceremony does not constitute an endorsement of the ceremony by DoD" (the Department of Defense).

Response: This ruling is bound to cause all sorts of difficulties and misunderstandings considering the current status of same-sex marriage around the country. What about military bases over seas? What laws are to be followed in that case -the home country, federal law, or what ever the base commander allows? 

What if one is based in a state that does not permit gay marriages but nearby there is a base in a state that does? Can one merely travel across state lines with the expectation of getting married at that base? Obviously state laws must still be adhered too.

Many in the military maintain an official residence in their home sate and not necessarily where they are based. What about residence requirements for marriage licenses? This is a factor that also will not be under the control of the military.

Then when it comes to the chaplains, how will those chaplains who will not perform gay marriages be ultimately treated? Especially if superior officer or even the base commander is gay and wants to be married on the base but none of the chaplains under his or her command are disposed to perform same-sex marriages?

In the long term how will this possibly affect the careers of conservative Christian chaplains?  Forget Muslim chaplains, they will never be expected to participate. However, since some liberal Christian chaplains will, there is going to be an uneven expectation for conservative Christian chaplains which may affect their careers, performance ratings, and advancement.            *Top

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