Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is now the chair for the Senate Armed Services Committee, the panel that handles military personnel and administrative matters. Gillibrand’s reputation is one of advocacy for homosexuals:
Gillibrand…was one of the senators pushing hardest for repeal of the old Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that restricted service by homosexuals.
She also recently sponsored a military benefits bill for homosexuals, requiring the military to treat homosexual “marriages” the same as heterosexual ones:
Gillibrand…introduced a [bill] named for a New Hampshire Army National Guard member, Chief Warrant Officer Karen “Charlie” Morgan, who died Feb. 10 of breast cancer. Morgan left a wife, Karen, who is not eligible for survivor benefits as would the surviving spouse of a male soldier…
Gillibrand said, “Same-sex partners of military service members should not be denied essential benefits because of who they are. We must ensure that all of our military families who have sacrificed so much have access to the services and treatment they need and deserve.”
Gillibrand’s committee chair comes as the US military has already stated its intent to grant such benefits — as soon as it stops being illegal. Gillibrand’s act would presumably repeal the Defense of Marriage Act — which means it is unlikely to pass the US House. The House is defending DOMA in court.
Meanwhile, while Secretary Eric Shineski has granted an exception for a homosexual regarding burial, Catholic Archbishop Timothy Broglio wondered out loud if the Department of Defense was already acting contrary to the law:
“This new policy under the guise of ‘equal benefits’ undermines marriage as the union of one man and one woman because it treats two persons of the same sex as spouses,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services…“Can the Secretary of Defense establish a policy that undermines federal law as established by [the Defense of Marriage Act]?”
Broglio gave an example of the impact of the governmental acceptance of homosexuality on religious liberty, using the position of a JAG:
Could a JAG officer choose, out of religious or moral convictions, not to give legal advice on marital and family issues to same-sex ‘partners’ without being subject to discipline? Forcing the officer to violate his conscience would not be fair…
Chaplains — whom Broglio oversees — are in the more obvious position of conflict, which make Broglio’s choice of example interesting. Chaplains clearly aren’t the only group affected — all servicemembers are.
Of course, a chaplain once said he’d be happy to counsel a homosexual couple on marriage: He’d counsel them they were living a sinful life, and he’d counsel them to stop.