Add a fourth anti-gay amendment to the pile today. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), who has proven to be one of Congress’s biggest opponents of LGBT equality, has offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would essentially create a separate Defense of Marriage Act just for the Department of Defense. Here’s the full text of her amendment (PDF):
Congress finds that the unique conditions of military service create a heightened need to protect marital and family stability, which are promoted by the adoption of this section. In determining the meaning of or applying any ruling, policy, regulation, benefit, or benefit program of the Department of Defense applicable to members of the Armed Forces or civilian employees of the Department of Defense, the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.
If Congress truly finds that marital and family stability depend upon denying more individuals access to marriage, then Congress did not look very hard. The American Psychological Association concluded years ago that marriage supports the mental health and well-being of not only same-sex couples but also their families.
Hartzler is trying to ensure that even when same-sex couples can finally be open about their relationships, they will still be treated as second-class families in the military. If military preparedness truly benefits when the Department of Defense treats some families as superior to others, Hartzler should consider advocating for reintroducing segregation as well.