After DADT Repeal, Navy Says Chaplains Can Perform Same-Sex Marriages in Naval Chapels


CNSNews reports that the Navy now says federal property will be used for same-sex ceremonies if state laws permit:

Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies -- if homosexual marriage is legal in the state where the unions are to be performed.

The advisory came in the form of an April 13 memo issued to all chaplains, in which the Chief of Navy Chaplains, Admiral Michael Tidd, said the Chaplain Corps was revising its Tier I training manuals, which had previously indicated that same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property.

In the wake of the news, elected officials and top policy experts are suggesting that this move could be a violate of DOMA, according to CNSNews:

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, is concerned that [...] the Navy may be violating federal law – the Defense of Marriage Act.

“Offering up federal facilities and federal employees for same-sex marriage violates DOMA, which is still the law of the land and is bound to the duties of our military, including chaplains,” Steve Taylor, communications director for Akin, told “The administration and various states may be operating as if DOMA doesn't exist, but the Navy and Marine Corps and all the Armed Services are sworn to obey the law, which this new instruction violates,” he added.

Tom McCLusky, senior vice president of government relations at the Family Research Council, agreed that the Navy is totally ignoring DOMA, part of which defines marriage for federal government purposes as being between one man and one woman. “You’re talking about government facilities and government employees, so it would seem to be a direct violation of DOMA,” McClusky told “I’m not seeing a lot of wiggle room there.”

...  Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), said the change in training was a “good example of the type of uncertainty and confusion created in the rush to change the previous policy.”

This is yet another reason why DOMA ought to be fairly and fully defended.