House Passes Defense Bill with Homosexual Marriage Restriction
The US House of Representatives passed the 2012 Defense Appropriations bill last week. (The previously-passed Defense Authorization Act ‘authorizes’ the military, while the Appropriations Act funds it.) It included an amendment affecting funding for Chaplain training, intended to prohibit them from performing ‘homosexual marriage’ ceremonies in military chapels, regardless of state law. It was intended to ensure military policy remained consistent with federal law (the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA). Another amendment by Representative Virgina Foxx (R-NC) banned the use of funds in contradiction with DOMA.
The first amendment, sponsored by Representative Tim Huelskamp (R-Ka), was generated by the controversy over the Navy’s short-lived memo specifically stating Chaplains could perform ‘gay’ marriage ceremonies after the repeal of DADT.
President Obama has reportedly threatened to veto the bill for a variety of reasons, though it passed with a veto-proof 336-87 majority. The Senate has yet to generate a bill, which will have to be passed, followed by the reconciliation of the bills in conference and a possible re-vote.