Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



GOP proposals seek to upend DADT
by Chuck Colbert

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Two anti-gay measures have been introduced in the House Armed Services Committee in an apparent attempt to undermine the successful implementation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal, a move advocates and defenders of openly gay military service say is unnecessary and unprecedented.

One proposal seeks to amend the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act by providing religious liberty protections to military chaplains and service members who disapprove of homosexuality on the basis of morality and religion.

Introduced by Representative Todd Akin ( R-Missouri ) , the amendment states, "The armed forces shall accommodate the conscience and sincerely held moral principles and religious beliefs" of service members "concerning the appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality and may not use such conscience, principles, or beliefs as the basis of any adverse personnel action, discrimination, or denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment."

The other amendment, offered by Representative Steve Palazzo ( R-Mississippi ) , would ban the use of Department of Defense military properties to "officiate, solemnize, or perform a marriage or marriage-like ceremony involving anything other than the union of one man and one woman."

The two congressmen offered their amendments within hours of President Barack Obama's full embrace of equal marriage rights for same-sex couples on May 9.

"At the end of the day, Mr. Akin is talking about a problem that does not exist," said Army veteran Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, during a telephone press availability, Thursday, May 10.

"What is new here and unprecedented is that he's seeking an exemption for individual service members and chaplains who may have a problem with gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military," said Sarvis.

" [ Atkin ] wants an exemption, or in his words protections, for that individual service member or chaplain to be able to express his opposition publicly to [ military ] policy as long as he wraps the expression of that policy [ objection ] to a moral principle or sincerely held religious belief," Sarvis added.

"That would be a very dangerous precedent to set" insofar as "any number of policies or directives" with which a service member "might disagree" would be open to criticism, explained Sarvis.

For example, he said, "A service member might say, 'It's against my moral beliefs or principles to be serving with people of color.'"

For his part, Akin said in a statement, "We have heard stories of military chaplains facing censorship for their opposition to the liberal agenda. Liberals may have successfully ended 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' but they should not be allowed to force members of our military to give up their religious beliefs. That is simply unacceptable and unconstitutional."

But Sarvis countered: Akin's "alleged cases have not been documented and have not been investigated."

Individual service members are "entitled to their personal, private beliefs and are perfectly free to hold them," said Sarvis. "But they are not entitled to express publicly an objection or lobby against a policy" that has been "articulated" either by "Congress or the president or secretary of defense or company commander or first sergeant."

Altogether, "Implementation [ of DADT repeal ] is working well, including on the religious front with chaplains," Sarvis added.

Akin's proposed amendment also addresses specifically the issue of a chaplain being forced "to perform any duty, rite, ritual, ceremony, service or function that is contrary" to his or her "conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs, or contrary to the moral principles and religious beliefs of the endorsing faith group of the chaplain."

That provision is unnecessary, said Sarvis.

"No chaplain is being required to perform any ceremony anywhere on or off base that he or she does not believe in or is inconsistent with the principles or teaching of his or her sponsoring agency," Sarvis said. "It's simply not happening."

"Adequate protections are in place today to protect chaplains" in the performance of their duties in serving the spiritual needs of troops, added Sarvis.

During the press call Sarvis said that SLDN was not aware yet of any military chaplains who have performed same-sex marriages on military base facilities.

"We have heard from some service members who are in discussions with their chaplains about getting married this summer on military installations by military chaplains," said Sarvis. "Stay tuned."

Meanwhile, "The Department of Defense has already made it clear — and appropriately so — that decisions about the use of facilities should be made on a sexual orientation neutral basis," Sarvis said.

A May 8 Army Times piece on Akin's amendment prompted an online response from Sue Fulton, communications director of Out Serve, an organization for active LGBT military members

"You can preach to your own congregation that Judaism, Islam, Wicca, atheism is not the path to salvation — but as a chaplain you shouldn't be preaching to your units that Jews, Muslims, Wiccans, or atheists should be kicked out of the military," Fulton wrote. "Chaplains are sworn to support all soldiers; and if you can't do that, it's a violation of your oath."

In his response, Army chaplain candidate Greg Brown wrote, "What this guy [ Akin ] is asking for is always the case. We are not required to do anything for anyone that our endorsing bodies wouldn't approve of."

� Copyright. Chuck Colbert. All rights reserved.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

WORLD Alan Turing, Theresa May, UN expert, South Korea military 2019-07-16 - The Bank of England will honor the late gay mathematician/codebreaker Alan Turing on the 50-pound note, LGBTQ Nation reported. After World War II, ...

Gay News

House passes Military Non-Discrimination Amendment 2019-07-11 - WASHINGTON July 11, 2019 — By a vote of 242-187, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a non-discrimination amendment to the National ...

Gay News

High court workplace cases affect LGBTQ veterans, military families, national security 2019-07-03 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) — the nation's largest non-profit organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, ...

Gay News

WORLD Librarian's death, Baja OKs marriage equality, parade news 2019-07-02 - The National Human Rights Commission of Myanmar will investigate the death of gay librarian Kyaw Zin Win, Gay Star News noted. The librarian, ...

Gay News

City salutes LGBT veterans, Army veteran speaks for trans military service 2019-06-26 - The City of Chicago held the annual Salute to LGBT veterans, "Liberty and Justice for All," at Daley Plaza on Tuesday, June 25. ...

Gay News

WORLD Mexican marriage bill, Sir Elton John, global Pride events 2019-06-25 - In Mexico, Sinaloa lawmakers voted against a measure that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state, with 20 votes against and 18 ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Kamala Harris, military poll, gay-bar attack, Cracker Barrel 2019-06-25 - Presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris is introducing a bill to reduce the transmission of HIV by encouraging the use of PrEP, or ...

Gay News

Court lets Trump anti-trans ban stand, and orders new review 2019-06-15 - On June 14, the The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed President Trump's ban on transgender members of the military to stand—setting ...

Gay News

Ecuador approves same-sex marriage 2019-06-13 - By a vote of five to four, Ecuador's highest court approved same-sex marriage in a landmark ruling in the small and traditionally Catholic ...

Gay News

WORLD Filipino survey, Eurovision remarks, North Macedonian march 2019-05-28 - The Philippines House of Representatives is conducting an online survey on same-sex unions, CNN Philippines noted. The poll, posted on the chamber's website, ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.