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US military chaplains authorized to witness same-sex marriages

Catholic World News - October 03, 2011

The US Department of Defense has announced that military chaplains will be authorized to witness same-sex marriages ed in states where the practice is legal.

Chaplains are not obligated to officiate at same-sex marriages if the unions are "in variance with the tenets of his or her religion," the Defense Department allowed. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the head of the Catholic military ordinariate, quickly announced that Catholic chaplains would not perform such ceremonies.

Archbishop Broglio questioned how the Defense Department had formulated its policy, stipulating that the marriages must conform to state and local law, without making an reference to the federal law that bars same-sex marriage.

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  • Posted by: Anselm - Oct. 03, 2011 7:33 PM ET USA

    And the official at the Pentagon did not consult any of the military branch's Chief of Chaplains so it was done without input by the Chaplain corps.

  • Posted by: happycatholicmom8648 - Oct. 03, 2011 7:00 PM ET USA

    Here's what will happen: same sex marriages in the military will be used to repeal DOMA. A military "married" couple in, say, MA, will claim a violation of their rights when the federal gov't transfers them (since they would have stayed in MA) to a state where such a "marriage" is not recognized. They will say that the fed gov't (in the form of the military) recognizes their union, so the gov't should not have such a conflict in its policies, and the states will be forced to recognize them also.

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