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September 30th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages

By Charley Keyes, CNN Senior National Security Producer

Washington (CNN) - Ten days after the military dumped its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians, the Pentagon has issued new rules allowing military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages, but only if allowed by law and the chaplain's beliefs.

"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," a memo released Friday says.

"Further a chaplain is not required to participate in or officiate a private ceremony if doing so would be in variance with the tenets of his or her religion."

The new policy allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military went into force September 20. In May, before the end of "don't ask, don't tell," the Navy was forced into an embarrassing about-face when if first OK'd and then changed its mind on marriages on military bases.

The new military rules on marriages must be in line with the Federal Defense of Marriage Act and local laws.

The latest two-paragraph memo, from Under Secretary of Defense Clifford Stanley, carefully stops short of fully embracing the idea of same-sex marriage, saying that "a military chaplain's participation in a private ceremony does not constitute an endorsement of the ceremony by DoD" (the Department of Defense).

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Culture wars • Faith Now • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Military • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (1,195 Responses)
  1. Takahashi

    There's no doubt that your website rocks! Offer me with the help of some ebedfack about what you think of mine someday, it’s not that fancy and yet

    March 3, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  2. Sheikh Muhammad

    Nauzubillah! (May Allah protect us from that!)

    December 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  3. eyesopened

    You know whats so crazy is that these so called chaplins are not even faith builders, why is that because they signed a policy that states that the way they share what ever denomination they stand for it has to be political correct, and you know what that means they cannot by defalt share Hope of the God that this nation was founded on. the same God that all our founding fathers made sure, would be made clear was the God of the bible as per the scripture that is embolded on the liberty bell and through out our nations capital. why do you think the enemy wanted to take out washington with a plane, thats where the reflection of our founding fathers faith was engraved through out the years. So again if our own nation is starting to side with the enemy by way of comprimising all the great moral standards our fearless leaders lived to die for, its no wonder our soldiers that have returned home are going nuts and have nothing to live for. Our so called leaders dont even have a clue what Hope is or freedom is let alone share it or fight for it.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  4. trxsuspension

    Hello. everyone.
    would like to make new friends with you guys.

    November 28, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  5. Gal Harat

    People must understand the concept and the law of which is good. For the country to be morally intact. Engagement Ring

    October 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  6. B N O

    Wicked perversion.

    October 16, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • Duh

      The experts in psychology disagree with you. Obviously you didn't do any research before forming an opinion. What an idiot.

      November 1, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Nice Ice

      Yes, Religion = wicked perversion
      religion = anaesthetic of the mind and spirit

      November 16, 2011 at 5:54 am |
    • phoodphite

      Wait a minute – Carrie's mother is still alive??

      December 2, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  7. GonzoG

    It's one more step.

    You don't have to LIKE the prospect, but you have to understand that other people's lives are not necessarily your business.

    October 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.