On September 30, The Blaze reported that the Pentagon is now allowing military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages both on and off of military bases.
In response to the announcement, some chaplains are responding by refusing to perform gay marriages in military chapels and by asking Congress to intervene to prevent government facilities from being utilized to hold these matrimonies.
In last week's memo, the Pentagon wrote:
“A military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law.
Further a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion.”
Fox News has more on the Pentagon's changes:
Despite this proclamation, which allocates permission for clergy to wed same-sex couples, representatives of more than 2,000 military chaplains say that associated religious leaders won't be taking the Pentagon up on the offer. According to the Associated Press:
The Rev. Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who represents Roman Catholic priests in the military, both say their chaplains won't violate their faith tenets by marrying same-sex couples.
Aside from claiming that these marriages will not be conducted by their members, Crews and Broglio also claimed that the Pentagon's memo and declaration both ignore the federal government's law that defines marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. According to Crews, Congress should intervene to prevent any federal facility from being used to violate this marriage law.
In a press release, Crews said:
“By dishonestly sanctioning the use of federal facilities for ‘marriage counterfeits’ that federal law and the vast majority of Americans have rejected, the Pentagon has launched a direct assault on the fundamental unit of society – husband and wife.”
We call once again for Congress to affirm that the federal definition of marriage applies to the Department of Defense and that no federal facilities may be used to circumvent federal law. In addition, we call on Congress to enact a ‘Right of Conscience’ clause in the Revised Title 10 code to ensure that no American, and especially not our service members, be forced to deny their religious beliefs.”
The movement against the Pentagon's proclamation is ramping up on individual military installments as well. At West Point, the renowned military academy located outside of New York City, the Catholic Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity won't be hosting any gay marriages. CBN has more:
"Holy Trinity is an actual Catholic parish, unlike the non-denominational chapels that are found on other military installations, and the only services held there are Catholic services," Taylor Henry, director of public affairs and media relations for the Archdiocese, explained.
"The Catholic Church does not perform the sacrament of matrimony for same-sex couples," he said.
As we reported, no chaplains will be forced to perform same-sex unions. Despite this protection, it seems that religious leaders -- at least those who have spoken out thus far -- are less than supportive of the Pentagon's recent change of heart.