Some anti-gay parts of US defense bill dropped

Several anti-gay amendments dropped from U.S. defense bill but not ban on sodomy

Some anti-gay parts of US defense bill dropped
13 December 2011

Several anti-gay amendments have been eliminated from the proposed $662 billion defense bill to be considered by President Barack Obama.

Gone from the final bill, passed by a conference committee of the House and Sentate this week, is language that would have banned military chaplains from performing same-sex marriages. Also gone is a ban on military facilities being used for such ceremonies.

But it's not all good news: the current language does allow chaplains who don’t want to perform same-sex weddings to opt out of doing so and consensual sodomy would continue to be classified as a crime.

The proposed defense bill is the first since the official end of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy that prevented gay and lesbian personnel from being open about their sexuality.

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis, an Army veteran, congratulated the House and Senate conference committee for striking a 'correct balance' on the chaplains provisions.

He said in a statement Tuesday: 'This report demonstrates that a majority in Congress remains committed to, and in lock step with the Pentagon, in ensuring that we stay on the repeal course adopted by the last Congress and signed off on by the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.' 

Still, Sarvis expressed disappointment that the committee voted to keep sodomy provisions intact.

'SLDN will continue to work with the Senate, House, and Department of Defense to bring about this needed change,' he said.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Kathy Griffin shares how she will be different from Joan Rivers on Fashion Police

'I’m more improvisational and I don’t know what I’m going to say and neither does anyone else on the panel'
No thumbnail available

Mat Staver: Gay sex has cost US government more than $225 billion

Right-wing lawyer claims studies show gay sex 'can result in significant cost to the community that encourages it'
No thumbnail available

Chilean defense attorney abandons Zamudio murder case

A court hearing for the gay bashing and murder of Daniel Zamudio is rescheduled after the defendants’ lawyer Claudio Cofré refuses to appear in court 
No thumbnail available

Leelah Alcorn's mother threw away handwritten suicide note: 'I've had enough'

Report officially rules transgender teen's death a suicide
No thumbnail available

Berlin joins protest against St Petersburg censorship law

German parliament members join activists to protest new and established anti-gay Russian laws
No thumbnail available

Poll shows Arkansas voters prefer civil unions over gay marriage

Like many other US southern states, support for gay marriage is more popular with people under 30
No thumbnail available

Ellen DeGeneres chooses her new temporary gardener: he's hunky Derek Yates

Actor-model-singer also started a non-profit after his brother was killed by an impaired driver
No thumbnail available

Gambia gay court case collapses but defendants still at risk

While the 18 defendants are relieved the case against them collapsed, they now have become social outcasts and may be in danger of homophobia and persecution
No thumbnail available

Gay marriage boom in Utah with nearly 1,000 ceremonies since last week

All counties in the state are now issuing licenses to same-sex couples
No thumbnail available

Ljubljana: a Mittel-European dream between a Medieval castle and a gay squat

Gay Star Travel visits the Slovenian capital to enjoy its buzzing nightlife and its tasty cakes. This is where all LGBTI people from the country come to have fun