Anticipating the elimination of the military ban on homosexuality, the Office of the Chief of Navy Chaplains has decided that same-sex couples in the Navy will be able to get married in Navy chapels, and that Navy chaplains will be allowed to perform the ceremonies — if homosexual marriage is legal in the state where the unions are to be performed.
The advisory came in the form of an April 13 memo issued to all chaplains, in which the Chief of Navy Chaplains, Admiral Michael Tidd, said the Chaplain Corps was revising its Tier I training manuals, which had previously indicated that same-sex marriages are not authorized on federal property.
Instead, Tidd called for chaplains to comply with service-wide efforts underway to be more accepting of homosexuality and same-sex marriage as the end of the military policy on homosexuality nears.
Citing “additional legal review” by Navy attorneys, the admiral said the Navy “has concluded that, generally speaking, base facility use is sexual orientation neutral.”
“If the base is located in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, then the base facilities may be used to celebrate the marriage,” the admiral’s directive states.
The admiral’s memo also gives chaplains permission to “marry” homosexual couples – but would not force them to perform ceremines.
“Regarding chaplain participation, consistent with the tenets of his or her religious organization, a chaplain may officiate a same-sex, civil marriage: if it is conducted in accordance with the laws of the state which permits same-sex marriages or union; and if the chaplain is, according to applicable state and local laws, otherwise fully certified to officiate that state’s marriages.”
Read on here.