Due to pressure from Republican lawmakers the Navy is set to reverse it’s decision on allowing military chaplains to officiate same-sex marriages on navy bases.
In an April 13 memo on “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal training, Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd, Chief of Navy Chaplains, clarified that base facilities are “sexual orientation neutral,” and that chaplains may perform marriages for gay couples “if it is conducted in accordance with the laws of a state which permits same-sex marriage[.]” Chaplains could elect to officiate should a ceremony be “consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization.”
But Tidd reversed course late Tuesday, writing that his guidance is suspended pending “additional legal and policy review and inter-Departmental coordination.”
Tidd’s about-face comes after outcry in recent days from a group of Republican lawmakers who want to bar same-sex weddings at base facilities, as well as religious conservative groups that have long railed against any change in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote in a Tuesday blog post that Tidd’s guidance was an affront to the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of gay marriages.
“Now that the ban on homosexuals in the military is overturned, the White House is trying to enlist the troops in its war on DOMA. And if the administration won’t uphold the law, then it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the President would order the military to ignore it,” Perkins wrote.
Because this is exactly where our energy should be going. I don’t know if this shows how effective Republicans are in forcing minuscule symbolic pieces of legislation in what they consider the “culture wars,” or how ineffective they are in prioritizing what real issues are. In the face of all the things the military should currently be focusing on, this seems pretty trivial since it deals with a future, potential, hypothetical, if one day someone wants to get marred on a military base and happens to be gay they shouldn’t be able to. Ideally, this type of legislation will continue to become more and more irrelevant as DOMA is abandoned.