GOP Senators Try Again to Curb Religious Freedoms on Military Bases

Jim Burroway

September 13th, 2012

From the Tulsa World:

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) and Roger Wicker (R-MS)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe hasn’t given up his resistance to the acceptance of gays and lesbians in the military or same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, Inhofe and fellow Republican Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced a measure that would ban same-sex marriages on military bases and protect military chaplains from “pressure” to perform such ceremonies.

The two senators described the Military Religious Freedom Act as an effort to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA, on the Defense Department in the wake of the December 2010 repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which ended the official ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

The Defense Department directive on marriages, in keeping with the First Amendment which guarantees the free practice of religion, says, “A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation.” The operative word here is “may.” This is in now way binding, as chaplains are not required to officiate ceremonies which run counter to their religious beliefs. On the other hand, the so-called “Military Religious Freedom Act” is a complete misnomer, since it would actually prohibit pastors from denominations which solemnize the marriages of their same-sex couples from practicing their faiths and the faiths of their members.

Truthspew

September 13th, 2012

I guess they want to see the entirety of DOMA struck down then. I mean, if this does make it to the Supreme Court we have a perfect example of the animus against the gay community in these two dispshits.

Sammy

September 13th, 2012

“Military Religious Freedom Act”?? How about “Military Religious Curtailment Act”.

MattNYC

September 13th, 2012

The GOP has mastered Orwellian language. Thanks to a P.O.S. named Frank Luntz.

Hue-Man

September 13th, 2012

Where in the bibble does it say that you are required to be petty and vindicative when dealing with gay people? Like denying gay partners access to their loved ones in hospital, no one’s life is in danger, the facility will not be destroyed, and it’s nobody’s business. It’s simple spite.

Timothy Kincaid

September 13th, 2012

In terms of legacy, Inhofe appears to be trying to unseat Jesse Helms. It seems that he wants history to view him as the chief homophobe of the US Senate; or, at least, the voice of its last gasp.

Timothy Kincaid

September 13th, 2012

Supporters of the directive say chaplains are clearly exempt from same-sex services already, but some conservatives claim chaplains have been punished for refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies.

We know of one chaplain who was harassed by his denomination for attending a civil union ceremony (he quit the denomination and stayed a chaplain), but I’ve heard from ZERO chaplains who have “been punished for refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies.”

MattNYC

September 13th, 2012

If there were a vote to repeal the laws of gravity, Inhofe would be a lead sponsor. This is a man who claims that there has never been a homosexual in his entire family tree–probably not even that crazy life-long bachelor great uncle.

Demented (or perhaps “DeMint-ed”) is the only word that comes to mind when I hear either OK Senator speak.

tristram

September 13th, 2012

The scary part is that these guys and others like them are the senior Republicans in the Senate. If the GOP gets a Senate majority in Nov. (which is a distinct possibility if Senate races in places like MA, OH and VA go their way), Mitch McConnell will be running the Senate and these types will be chairing the Senate committees, appointing the committee staffs, setting the agenda. Everything they want becomes exponentially easier to achieve; everything they oppose does not happen.

JohnAGJ

September 13th, 2012

Here’s the text of the bill in question:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3526/text

Sections 1 and 2 may pass constitutional muster, perhaps with some tweaking, but novice thought I am I cannot see how Section 3 possibly can. This section would prohibit the free exercise of religion at the mentioned facilities, regardless of the legality of the marriage ceremonies that might taken place there. Seems to me this would be struck down on clear First Amendment grounds regardless of whether same-sex marriage is deemed to be constitutionally protected or not.

Reed

September 13th, 2012

Hue-man, “vindicative” is a wonderful new word, combining “vindictive” and “indicative,” isn’t it? Thanks for that. Now, I’ll use it in a sentence: “Hue-man’s use of ‘bibble’ instead of ‘Bible’ wasn’t an accident, it was vindicative of his anti-theism trumping his attention to orthography.”

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