Republican congressman Steve King attaches anti-gay marriage amendment to defense bill

Seeks to ban same-sex marriages on military bases and military chaplains from participating

Republican congressman Steve King attaches anti-gay marriage amendment to defense bill
19 July 2012

Less than a year after the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell , US Congressman Steve King is trying to get same-sex marriages banned from military bases.

King, a Republican from Iowa, introduced an amendment to the 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill on Thursday (19 July)  that would not only ban the ceremonies, but also prohibit any military chaplain from performing them.

The congressman says his amendment is in line with the Defense of Marriage Act which is technically still the law of the land in the US although it is no longer defended by the Obama administration.

Said King: ‘The Defense of Marriage Act means this: Marriage means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. And the word ‘spouse’ only refers to a member of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. Pretty simple statute being contravened by the president of the United States as exercised through the Secretary of Defense. This amendment prohibits the use of military facilities or the pay of military chaplains for being used to contravene the defense of marriage act.’

Under the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which had prohibited gay and lesbian military personnel from serving openly, military chaplains have the option of whether or not to perform a same-sex ceremony.

According to Politico, Washington state congressman Norm Dicks, a Democrat, called the amendment ‘contentious and discriminatory.’

‘We should have a debate on the effects of DOMA on our service members and their families, but introducing this contentious and discriminatory amendment is not the place,’ he said.

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