Well, that didn’t take long. Now that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been repealed and the men and women in our armed services are able to serve our country regardless of their sexual orientation, religious conservatives in our government are working their hardest to reinstate discriminatory policies into the military.
Recently, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), introduced S. 3526, also known as the Military Religious Freedom Act.
This bill would prevent military chaplains from being required to perform a marriage ceremony if the chaplain objects for reasons of conscience, and prohibits same-sex marriages or marriage-like ceremonies at military facilities.
While private churches and chaplains are well within their rights to decline performing same-sex marriage ceremonies, military chaplains—paid by federal dollars—have a duty to serve all military members. Military chaplains still retain the right to perform—or not perform—marriages of any kind. However, this bill would remove the requirement to fulfill the needs of all military members by providing facilities and referrals when needed.
We didn’t fight hard for equality only to see it overturned by religious conservatives in Congress who prefer to divide and insult our troops rather than support them. These are the same people who fought against allowing LGBT soldiers in our military based on misinformation and bigotry.
Now it’s our turn to fight for the men and women that have given so much to protect us. Stand up for LGBT soldiers and ask your Senators and to oppose this shameful bill.
The American Humanist Association firmly believes in the right of all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation, to be treated equally and justly by their government. We strongly reject any attempt by religious extremists in Congress to discriminate against our brave LGBT soldiers.