WASHINGTON, DC, December 12, 2011 ( – A provision added to the Senate defense authorization bill would give military chaplains the right to opt out of performing same sex “marriages.”

The amendment was introduced last month by Republican Senator Roger Wicker and approved by a unanimous voice vote.

“Protections for military chaplains should be guaranteed in any policy changes being implemented,” Wicker said, alluding to widespread fears that the conscience rights of military chaplains would be trampled in the wake of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal.


A September memorandum from the Pentagon authorizing military chaplains to officiate at same-sex “weddings” despite the fact that federal law prohibits recognition of same-sex “marriages” had further heightened such fears.

Dr. Ron Crews, Executive Director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, praised Wicker’s amendment in a recent statement.

“Chaplains should be able to continue to serve our military personnel without fear of reprisal for their Biblically held views concerning sexuality and the definition of marriage,” Crews commented.

He added that the legislation was needed in light of revelations that some chaplains have “suffered retaliation, including having their careers threatened, for being ‘politically incorrect.’”

According to the Army Times, the House version of the Defense bill contains an even stronger provision which would prohibit chaplains from performing same sex “weddings.”

The two versions of the bill will be reconciled at a conference tonight.