Obama Criticizes Conscience Protections for Military Chaplains in Defense Bill

By:  Dave Bohon
Obama Criticizes Conscience Protections for Military Chaplains in Defense Bill

As President Obama signed this year's defense bill, he expressed his disapproval of a provision that will prevent him from forcing military chaplains to perform same-sex "marriages."

As President Obama affixed his signature to this year's $633 billion defense appropriations bill, he also issued a “signing statement” that included criticism of a provision in the bill that provides conscience protections for military chaplains. Section 533 of the “National Defense Authorization Act” bars the Department of Defense from requiring chaplains to preside at religious functions that violate their moral and religious convictions, such as same-sex wedding ceremonies — which have been occurring with increasing regularity since Congress overturned the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” ban on homosexuals serving in uniform.

Section 533 reads: “No member of the Armed Forces may — (1) require a chaplain to perform any rite, ritual, or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the chaplain; or (2) discriminate or take any adverse personnel action against a chaplain, including denial of promotion, schooling, training, or assignment, on the basis of the refusal by the chaplain to comply with a requirement prohibited by paragraph.”

Irked by the overt attempt to block implementation of his homosexual agenda in the military, Obama issued a signing statement that included a particularly brazen slap at Section 533. Calling the provision “unnecessary and ill-advised,” the president insisted that “the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and service members.”

Obama warned that the secretary of defense would work to “ensure that the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct.” 

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