Main | Thursday, June 06, 2013

House Panel Adopts Amendment Allowing Harassment Of Gay Service Members

Yesterday the House Armed Service Committee adopted an amendment to the defense spending authorization bill that would protect members of the military who harass gay service members. Because Jesus. The amendment was authored by Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and it passed by a vote of 33-26.

Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:
Fleming’s measure would expand the “conscience provision” in that already exists in defense law. It would protect discriminatory speech and actions and leave commanders with no recourse against prejudicial conduct when it occurs in their units. Further, the measure requires the Pentagon to implement regulations within 120 days after the bill becomes law. The defense secretary must consult with “official military faith-group representatives who endorse military chaplains” before the regulations are issued. President Obama signed the existing “conscience provision” under Section 533 as part of the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act. At the time of the signing, Obama called it “unnecessary” and said he was signing the defense package under assurances the Pentagon wouldn’t “permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct.”
Outserve-SLDN reacts via press release:
“Religious liberty is a core American value, and we support the accommodation of all beliefs. What we can never support is legislation that sanctions one belief at the expense of others and places unit cohesion, the safety of our troops, and their ability to accomplish the mission in jeopardy, and that’s exactly what this bill would do,” said Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson, an ordained Baptist minister.
Read the amendment here.

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