First same-sex religious “commitment” ceremony performed by Army chaplain

Details from CNN:

A same-sex ceremony between an enlisted woman and a civilian woman on a U.S. Army post last month drew protests from lawmakers Thursday.

The “private religious ceremony” took place at Fort Polk in Louisiana in May, post spokesman Scott Stearns said, but he would confirm few other details.

Rep. John Fleming, a Louisiana Republican whose congressional district includes the Army post, said the military confirmed to him that the same-sex ceremony was performed by an Army chaplain in the chapel.

The incident was an inevitable consequence of the end of the don’t ask, don’t tell policy in September, which previously banned homosexuals from military service, Fleming said.

“The liberal social experiment with our military continues,” Fleming said. “A same-sex marriage-like ceremony should not have occurred at Fort Polk, especially since the people of Louisiana have made it abundantly clear that our state does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.”

Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican whose office said has been working “to protect traditional marriage on military bases,” said the ceremony was “clearly in contravention of state law and also violates the Defense Department policies issued last fall.”

“It is very concerning that a same-sex ceremony would occur on a military base in a state where the definition of marriage has been clearly defined as between one man and one woman,” Akin said.

Additional details:

“It is my understanding that this is the first ceremony of its type on an American military base and that is, as it’s reported, it was a wedding ceremony between two members of the same gender who are uniformed members of the Army,” Fleming told CNSNews.com.

Fleming, who is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the Army confirmed that the ceremony was not billed as an official marriage.

“As its characterized, this ceremony occurred only as a religious ceremony, it was not intended or advertised to be a lawful or legal union,” Fleming said. “Such marriages between persons of the same-sex are not recognized by the state of Louisiana, so it can’t be a lawful or legal marriage ceremony…

…A Disciples of Christ chaplain performed a “marriage-like” commitment ceremony for the two lesbian soldiers, Dr. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Freedom says.

“They were very careful in the wording, from what I understand, to make this only a religious ceremony,” Crews says, noting that the Disciples of Christ denomination allows its clergy to perform same-sex “commitment” ceremonies.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X