(CNSNews.com) – The House of Representatives passed an amendment to the 2013 Defense Department (DoD) spending bill that would effectively bar military chaplains from performing gay “marriage” services and prevent gay “marriage” ceremonies form taking place on military installations.
The amendment, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), passed on a 247-166 vote on July 19. (KINGIA_015_xml(1).pdf)
The amendment technically bars any funds, which include chaplains’ salaries and funds to run base facilities, including chapels, from being used to “contravene” the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
The DOMA, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996, defines marriage as between a man and a woman for all federal purposes and says a state does not have to accept a same-sex “marriage” from another state.
King said recent DoD directives that military facilities and personnel – chaplains – can be used to perform homosexual marriage ceremonies in states where gay marriage is legal go against DOMA’s prohibition on federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
“The military is an entity of the federal government, and federal law states that marriage is between a man and a woman,” King said in a July 19 statement.
“Despite this, the Obama administration has allowed same-sex marriages to occur on military bases,” said King. “These marriages violate the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). My amendment prohibits the use of both military funds and facilities for same-sex marriages.”
In September 2011, the DoD issued two policy directives stating that, because Congress had repealed the ban on openly gay service members, military chaplains and facilities could be used to perform any type of civil ceremony that was legal under the laws of the state where the ceremony occurred.
However, both directives clearly state that using military chapels for any ceremony or a chaplain officiating a ceremony are not DoD endorsements of the ceremony.
The House version of the Defense spending bill will now have to be reconciled with the Senate version, which has yet to be voted out of committee.
The fate of Rep. King’s amendment depends on the outcome of negotiations between House and Senate appropriators after the Senate passes its version of the Defense spending bill.