Good news from the Washington Blade:
Absent from the final bill is language found in the House version that prohibits both military chaplains and bases from being involved in same-sex wedding ceremonies. Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) inserted the language during the markup of the bill.
Rep. W. Todd Akin’s amendment was a direct attempt to override a Pentagon directive from Sept. 30. That guidance memo from military leaders made clear the prerogative to participate in same-sex marriages was entirely up to the ground chaplains, and only in jurisdictions where marriage equality exists. The decision to use base facilities was left to base commanders. Akins’ language was approved by the House, but was never taken up by the Senate.
Akin’s attempt to override local decisions with the big foot of big government was oddly inconsistent with conservative principles.
I thought it’d been made clear the military was not a place for social engineering. But I guess it’s okay with Akin and his House colleagues to socially engineer LGB troops out of a possible chaplain or a wedding venue.
A second anti-gay measure the House passed was also stricken from the conference bill:
Additionally, conferees dropped language in the House bill that was added by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) reiterating the Defense Department must comply with the Defense of Marriage Act.
Hartlzler’s amendment was toothless and pointless, as the DOD is fully complying with DOMA already. The amendment amounted to a Congressional declaration that DOMA is double-plus good and they really, really like it. Glad to see Hartzler and the House keeping themselves busy. It’s not like there were any pressing concerns for the GOP caucus to work on.