Iowa Congressman Steve King on Thursday introduced an amendment to the 2013 defense funding bill which would ban gay and lesbian couples from marrying on a military base and prohibit military chaplains from officiating over such ceremonies.

According to, the amendment was approved by the House.

King, a vocal opponent of gay rights, accused President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta of “contravening” the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by allowing such unions to take place on military bases.

King is quoted by as saying that the secretary's permission to chaplains is tantamount to “implied encouragement to conduct same-sex marriages on our military bases conducted by our chaplains presumably who are all under the payroll of the U.S. government.”

DOMA bans federal agencies, including the military, from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples.

“The Defense of Marriage Act means this: Marriage means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. And the word 'spouse' only refers to a member of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. Pretty simple statute being contravened by the President of the United States as exercised through the Secretary of Defense,” King said on the House floor. “This amendment prohibits the use of military facilities or the pay of military chaplains for being used to contravene the Defense of Marriage Act.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The move comes just weeks after a gay service member in the Air Force and his partner entered a civil union at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Wrightstown, New Jersey.