Conservatives argue that the Pentagon’s new policy of permitting chaplains to perform same-sex marriages on military bases undermines federal law and have threatened to “oppose passage of the annual defense authorization bill unless language is included that prohibits military chaplains from performing same-sex unions.” But the chaplains disagree, telling ABC News that the new rules won’t have any impact on their daily lives. “The Pentagon can issue a policy change concerning the performance of same-gender ceremonies by chaplains. However, the Pentagon doesn’t generate religion as such,” says Gary Pollitt, a spokesman for the Military Chaplains Association, which represents 1,600 current and retired military chaplains. “A military chaplain conducts religious ceremonies and rites in keeping with the canons [or beliefs, doctrine, policies] of the religious faith group that endorses that chaplain. Each faith group defines the parameters for religious rites and the clergyperson’s individual discretion [if any] with those rites,” he said. Indeed, numerous religious denominations allow its ministers to perform same-sex marriages or bless same-sex unions.
Chaplains: Pentagon’s Same-Sex Marriage Rules Don’t Bother Us