Wicker Amendment to Protect Military Chaplains Added to Defense Reauthorization

Press Release

Date: Nov. 30, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), today applauded the Senate for adding an amendment he introduced to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The Wicker legislation would prevent military chaplains from being forced to perform a marriage ceremony if the chaplain objects for reasons of conscience. Wicker is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"This amendment will allow the chaplains of our Armed Forces to maintain the freedom of conscience necessary to serve both their Nation and their religion without conflict," Wicker said. "Protections for military chaplains should be guaranteed in any policy changes being implemented."

In September, the Department of Defense authorized military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in accordance with state law. This authorization allows military chaplains to participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize same-sex marriage.