Friday, May 18, 2012

U.S. House Passes Anti Gay Defense Bill

The anti gay House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 4310 that included all the homophobic provisions to undermine the successful "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal implementation. The bill passed by a vote of 299-120. The first of these gives so-called "conscience protections" to chaplains & service members who do not wish to minister or work with gay & lesbian service members. This amendment would allow service members to actively harass their fellow comrades for their perceived or actual sexual orientation. It would allow chaplains to discriminate against service members by religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other religious belief simply by arguing that ministering to them would be contrary to their "conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs." Another provision adopted in committee limits the use of Department of Defense property for same-gender marriage ceremonies. Next week, the Senate Armed Forces Committee begins mark-up on its own version of the NDAA. Differences between House & Senate versions will be addressed in conference committee later this year. Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis stated, "SLDN has been working all along with our allies in the Senate to ensure these or other harmful provisions are not included in the Senate version of the NDAA & do not survive when the bill gets to conference committee." Updates to Come...:)

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