Loading
Military's gay wedding rule 'seems to ignore' federal law
By Benjamin Mann
Archbishop Timothy Broglio
Archbishop Timothy Broglio

.- The head of the U.S. Military Archdiocese says that a new set of rules, allowing chaplains to perform same-sex “marriages” on military property, seems to disregard federal law.

“The Pentagon’s new policy, as outlined in these two memos, appears to ignore the Defense of Marriage Act, which was signed into law 15 years ago and remains in effect,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio in a Sept. 30 statement provided to CNA.

The archbishop's comments came in response to a pair of memos issued on Sept. 30, just 10 days after the official end of the military's “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy against open homosexuality.

In one of the memos, Defense Department Undersecretary Clifford Stanley states that “a military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law.”

Both Stanley's memo, and a separate document issued by Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson, sought to distance the department itself from a controversial use of its personnel and facilities.

“Private functions are not official activities of the Department of Defense. Thus, the act of making DoD facilities available for private functions, including religious and other activities, does not constitute an endorsement of the activities by DoD,” Johnson wrote.

Similarly, Stanley stated that “a military chaplain's participation in a private ceremony does not constitute an endorsement of the ceremony by DoD.”

Archbishop Broglio, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the apparent attempt to sidestep the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage in federal law as the union of a man and a woman.

“Undersecretary Stanley cannot say, on the one hand, that chaplains may take part in any private ceremony as long as it is 'not prohibited by applicable state and local law,' and on the other, say nothing of the federal law,” said Archbishop Broglio.

“Nor can DOD’s general counsel say that determinations regarding use of military facilities should be made on a 'sexual-orientation neutral basis, provided such use is not prohibited by applicable state and local laws' while neglecting to take DOMA into account.”

Archbishop Broglio said the use of military bases and personnel, for an activity regarded as invalid both by federal law and that of 44 states, would serve to “undermine the will of the American people,” even if performed only in states in which legislators or judges have redefined marriage.

“It cannot be forgotten that the 1996 enactment of DOMA was due to the efforts of a substantial, bi-partisan majority in Congress and to then-President Clinton,” the military archbishop recalled. “As a nation, we walk down a dangerous path when appointed officials are allowed to thwart the will of the people.”

“The women and men I am privileged to serve place their lives on the line every day to defend the Country whose government is of the people, by the people, and for the people,” he stated. “Let us pray that the millions who have died to ensure those liberties did not die in vain.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Jul
25

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Gospel
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »

Saint
Date
07/25/14
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Homily
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: