The Pentagon on Friday announced it
would allow military chaplains to officiate the marriages of gay
service members, including on a military installation, the AP
Under Secretary of Defense for
Personnel and Readiness Clifford Stanley issued the ruling in a memo
released this morning.
“A military chaplain may participate
in or officiate any private ceremony, whether on or off a military
installation, provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by
applicable state and local law,” Stanley wrote.
The ruling comes 10 days after the
military ended an 18-year-old policy that banned gay and bisexual
troops from serving openly, known as “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”
In May, 64 members of the Republican
caucus forced the Navy to table its decision to allow chaplains to
officiate the marriage and civil union ceremonies of gay couples once
DADT was lifted.
a letter to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Missouri Representative
Todd Akin and his colleagues warned that the Navy's plan violated the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that bans federal
agencies from recognizing the marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
issue resurfaced in July when North Carolina Representative
Virginia Foxx sponsored an amendment to the defense spending bill
that would bar the military from using federal funds to recognize the
marriages of gay and lesbian couples.