Politicians Speak Out About Same-Sex Union at Fort Polk
Fort Polk, LA— A couple has joined together in what Fort Polk officials are calling a "same-sex religious union." Officials confirmed that the ceremony was performed by a chaplain on post.
To their knowledge, Fort Polk officials continued, this is the first ceremony performed on post since the Don't Ask, Don't Tell ban was lifted back in September.
Officials have not said whether the union was between two men or two women.
While Fort Polk falls under federal laws and mandates, the officials say they still recognize Louisiana laws on marriage, which state that the definition of marriage is the union between a man and a woman.
That is why, the officials tell us, they are calling this a religions union between a same-sex couple.
So far, two Congressmen have voiced their negative views on the union.
U.S. Representative John Fleming, who represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana, released a statement, saying:
"The liberal social experiment with our military continues. A same-sex marriage-like ceremony should not have occurred at Fort Polk, especially since the people of Louisiana have made it abundantly clear that our state does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions. My frustration is compounded by the fact that a social agenda, which has nothing to do with military readiness or our national defense, is being imposed on our men and women in uniform. The repeal of ‘don't ask, don't tell' made incidents like this inevitable, and makes the case for the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Representatives in passing legislation that prevents military facilities from being used for same-sex marriages or marriage-like ceremonies."
Rep. Fleming said he felt the need to release his feelings, after the Army confirmed that a same-sex ceremony was performed by an Army Chaplain at a chapel at Fort Polk, which is in Representative Fleming's district.
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin also weighed in on the issue, releasing this statement:
"It is very concerning that a same-sex ceremony would occur on a military base in a state where the definition of marriage has been clearly defined as between one man and one woman. This action is clearly in contravention of state law, and also violates the Defense Department policies issued last fall. This appears to be a case where political agenda has trumped the rule of law, which is absolutely unacceptable. This confirms the importance of the language that my colleagues and I worked to include in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, which would protect chaplains and service members from this liberal agenda. The same individuals who will violate the law to advance their agenda will persecute those around them who disagree with their views."
Fort Polk officials said their policy is to not discriminate based on gender. While they reiterate, they do not recognize this union as a marriage, they say the same-sex religious union falls under military policy.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:46 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:46:45 GMT
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