NOM Wants To Limit The Religious Liberty Of Military Chaplains

The National Organization for Marriage’s weekly newsletter this week is rife with distortions, but the leading concern Brian Brown addresses is disturbingly hypocritical. Brown is very concerned that the Senate passed the Defense budget without including the many anti-gay provisions introduced by House Republicans, one of which prevented the use of military bases for same-sex marriages:

Senators Roger Wicker and James Inhofe have introduced these provisions in the Senate as a stand-alone bill, the “Military Religious Freedom Act of 2012,” but the Senate leadership has blocked their efforts every step of the way.

But even if the Senate never votes on the Wicker/Inhofe bill, we can still protect the Defense of Marriage Act and the religious liberty of our military chaplains, who could otherwise be forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies as part of their official duties.

We have one chance, but we need to take action immediately.

Jeremy Hooper points out that this is a blatant lie, because after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, the Pentagon laid out guidelines making it clear that chaplains would never be forced to perform a ceremony that was in conflict with their beliefs. All the Defense Department said was that chaplains may perform same-sex marriages in jurisdictions where it is legal to do so.


But NOM’s lie isn’t actually as galling as its hypocrisy. Were these anti-gay policies to pass, it would prohibit chaplains who might otherwise bless a same-sex marriage from doing so, thus actually infringing on their religious liberty. This represents another attempt to appropriate a conservative brand of Christianity that is not widely shared. NOM just assumes that every religious leader automatically assumes that homosexuality is wrong, which is simply not the case. This bold distortion makes it clear that as far as “religious liberty” is concerned, NOM only cares about protecting people who agree with its anti-gay mission.