Pentagon Permits Military Chaplains to Perform Same-Sex Marriages

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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According to a statement issued by the Pentagon, Military chaplains are permitted to perform same-sex marriages and military installations can be used, provided the state law does not prohibit that.

This statement comes following the repeal of the infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law that had prohibited gay officers to serve formally in the army. However, the statement also mentions that such events, if taking place on or off a base station, are not to be counted as official Defense Department events and neither to be considered as endorsement by the Pentagon. It has also been stated that if military chaplains have differing religious or personal beliefs then they are not required to officiate over such a union.

Jeh Johnson, the Defense Department stated “Private functions are not official activities of the Department of Defense,” he wrote. “Thus, the act of making DoD facilities available for private functions, including religious and other activities, does not constitute an endorsement of the activities by DoD.” He also said that the decision of using a base station for private functions should be decided on “a sexual-orientation neutral basis”.

However, the two memos dated Sept. 21 and Sept. 30 do not out rightly outline allowance of same-sex marriage. However, the Pentagon is promoting them over the controversy issued in a navy memo.

The statement has faced opposition from Conservatives and Republicans who have raised the argument that this clashes with the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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