Navy to Allow Same-Sex Marriage in Their Chapels
Last Monday, the Navy was the hero across America, for the exploits of its SEALs in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice. This Monday, the sea service was zero in certain quarters for saying it will permit same-sex marriages within its hallowed chapels. It marks the first of what is likely to be many thunderclaps associated with the lifting of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly gay men and women serving in the U.S. military.
Navy officials said Monday night that they have no choice in the matter. Assuming the ban is lifted – it is slated to happen around the end of the year – the Navy believes it cannot legally bar same-sex weddings or civil unions from taking place in its facilities.
“Consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization, a chaplain may officiate a same-sex, civil marriage: if it is conducted in accordance with a state that permits same-sex marriage or union; and if that chaplain is, according to the applicable state and local laws, otherwise fully certified to officiate that state’s marriages,” said Rear Admiral Mark Tidd, the Navy’s chief of chaplains, to his fellow chaplains in an April 13 memo.