Navy Will Let Chaplains Officiate Gay Marriages

New policy takes effect after DADT is repealed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2011 9:24 AM CDT
US Navy Chaplin Gordon Klingenschmitt holds his Bilble as he prays in front of the White House January 7, 2006 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – When Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed, a big change will come to the Navy: Its chaplains will be allowed to officiate at same-sex marriages. Rear Admiral Mark Tidd, the Navy's head chaplain, made the announcement in a recent memo but noted that chaplains may decline to participate if gay marriage goes against their religion. Base facilities can only be used for same-sex marriages in a state where such marriages are legal.

DADT is expected to be officially lifted this summer or by the end of the year. Though the new policy went through a legal review, it is already being challenged in Congress, Fox News reports. Rep. Todd Akin says it violates the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and that "federal employees ... should not be used to perform marriages that are not recognized by federal law." Time notes that Navy officials said last night they do not believe they can legally bar same-sex weddings or civil unions in Navy facilities.

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