Navy Suspends Decision to Allow Same-Sex Marriages

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Late yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Navy responded to pressure from dozens of House members by abruptly suspending implementation of a decision that would have allowed chaplains to perform same-sex unions when the Pentagon approves the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy later this year.

The Associated Press is reporting that the reversal came in the form of a one sentence memo from Rear Admiral Mark Tidd, chief of Navy chaplains, who said the decision has been “suspended until further notice pending additional legal and policy review and interdepartmental coordination.”

The reversal came as a result of pressure by dozens of House members who wrote to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to object to the ruling, saying it violated the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act by appearing to recognize and support same-sex marriages.

“We find it unconscionable that the United States Navy, a federal entity sworn to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States, believes it is their place alone to train and direct service members to violate federal law,” said the letter, which was signed by 63 House members.

Lawmakers asked the Secretary to defend the constitution, adding that individuals should not be allowed to pick and choose the laws they will follow.

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