The Defense Department today issued guidance to military chaplains saying that they are free to perform gay marriages on or off military bases in states where it’s legal. The memos are quick to add that these weddings can’t be official Defense Department events, and that “making DoD facilities available for private functions ... does not constitute an endorsement of the activities by DoD,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Ceremonies will be allowed in any state where the law does not explicitly forbid them. Chaplains, however, aren’t obligated to perform such ceremonies if they have religious objections. “Just because the Department of Defense says this can happen, the chaplains perform such rites in keeping with their ecclesiastical authorization. Period,” a spokesman for the Military Chaplains Association tells the Washington Post. (Read more gay marriage stories.)