Navy Changes Stance on Same-Sex Marriage Again
By Wendy Innes
The Navy announced Monday that they had changed the rules as they apply to same-sex marriage performed for gay service members by Navy chaplains. Since the passage of legislation in December that overturned the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on gays serving in the military, the Department of Defense has been implementing training to deal with issues that would affect gay service members, such as same-sex marriage according to the Associated Press.
In a memo issued April 13, 2011,Rear Adm. Mark Tidd explained “Regarding the use of base facilities for same-sex marriages, legal counsel has concluded that generally speaking, base facility use is sexual orientation neutral,” he continued, “If the base is located in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, then base facilities may normally be used.” The memo did caution chaplains to consult with the Legal Service Office to be sure they comply with local laws.
However, on Tuesday, Rear Adm. Tidd suspended his memo under immense pressure from conservative lawmakers, saying that the decision was made “pending additional legal and policy review,” according to the AP.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) and 62 others wrote a letter to Navy Sec. Ray Mabus asking him to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act, which only recognizes marriage between a man and a woman. The Obama Administration has called the law “discriminatory” in the past, but has left it to Congress to defend in the court system.
Photo: Chief of Chaplains Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd addresses a Roman Catholic congregation during mass in the chapel aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Seaman Timothy A. Hazel/Released
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