US Navy Gives OK for On Base Same-Sex Marriages

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5/9/11

by Paula Brooks

It would appear the Navy has decided to let same-sex couples in the Navy, get married in Navy chapels that are located on bases in state where  where same-sex marriage is legal, and will allow  Navy chaplains to perform those ceremonies.

The changes came in the form of an April 13 advisory memo issued to all chaplains which said the Chaplain Corps was revising its Tier I DADT Repeal training manuals, which had previously indicated that same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property.

Citing “additional legal review” by Navy attorneys, the Chief of Navy Chaplains, Admiral Michael Tidd said the Navy “has concluded that, generally speaking, base facility use is sexual orientation neutral.”

“If the base is located in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, then the base facilities may be used to celebrate the marriage,” added Tidd.

The admiral’s memo also gives Navy  chaplains permission to marry same-sex couples – but would not force them to perform ceremonies if those ceremonies are not within the chaplains religious beliefs.

“Regarding chaplain participation, consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization, a chaplain may officiate a same-sex, civil marriage: if it is conducted in accordance with the laws of the state which permits same-sex marriages or union; and if the chaplain is, according to applicable state and local laws, otherwise fully certified to officiate that state’s marriages.”

Said Lt Dan Choi, “This is an important step in our military’s work to manifest the American promise to all those who defend the American people. The military’s greatest weapon is its people; the equal treatment of all military families is critical to fulfilling our shared mandate to support our troops and their families.”

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