Friday, May 18, 2012

Obama administration opposes military conscience protections

(EWTN) President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have objected to legislation that would protect military service members' religious freedom and bar “gay marriages” from military property.

The administration “strongly objects” to the provisions in the Fiscal Year 2013 defense authorization bill, the Office of Management and Budget said in a May 15 statement of administration policy.

It called the religious freedom protections are “overboard” and “potentially harmful to good order and discipline” because they would prohibit all personnel-related actions based on certain religious moral beliefs.

The provision barring “gay marriages” would “deny service members, retirees, and their family members access to facilities for religious ceremonies on the basis of sexual orientation.”

The administration claimed this is “a troublesome and potentially unconstitutional limitation on religious liberty.”

House Minority Leader Pelosi said she agreed with the administration and said there have been no orders for chaplains to act against their faith by performing same-sex marriages.

At a May 17 press conference, she claimed that the provision was a “fraud” and a “manufactured crisis.”

Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) offered the amendment to the authorization bill that said that chaplains may not be ordered or required to carry out any duty, rite, ceremony or function that violates their “conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs.”

The amendment says that the Armed Forces shall accommodate the conscience and moral principles of its members about sexual ethics. It protects service members, including chaplains, from discrimination or denial of promotion, schooling or assignments.

Rep. Akin said May 10 that the amendment is necessary because service members and chaplains are facing “recrimination” for their “sincerely held moral and religious beliefs.”

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