Rep. Huelskamp pushes to ban same sex ceremonies at military facilities
In the response to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) introduced legislation this week that would prohibit marriage or marriage-like ceremonies on military installations for same sex couples.
He said the bill, the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act, would ensure “that our military facilities are not used in contravention to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that marriage is between one man and one woman only.”
“Military installations exist to carry out the national defense of our nation, not to facilitate a narrow social agenda,” he added.
The legislation would also ensure that military chaplains do not have to preside over same sex marriages or any other rite they object to.
“Rep. Huelskamp and other right wing Republican Members of Congress appear to have missed the memo from military leaders who say that open service is working just fine,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.
“Instead, in their compulsive need to use our brave men and women in uniform as political pawns, these Members of Congress have invented issues that don’t exist in order to score some points,” Solmonese continued. “These antics coming from Rep. Huelskamp shouldn’t be a surprise as he was the one forced to admit on the floor of the U.S. House last summer that he wanted to strip funding for training materials that he hadn’t even read.”
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which prohibited openly gay and lesbian members from serving in the military, came to an end in September of 2011. An estimated 14,000 soldiers were expelled from the military during the policy’s 18-year enactment.
Photo credit: Nikolai Alekseev