Ironically-Named 'Military Religious Freedom Protection Act' Opens the Door for Conservative Scare-Tactics

After the American Center for Law and Justice hosted Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) to promote his bill that he claims would help stop Obama from “using the military as a guinea pig” for the “radical homosexual agenda,” Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ sent an email alert to members claiming that if Huelskamp’s Military Religious Freedom Protection Act fails to pass Congress, then “military chaplains could be required to perform same-sex marriages”:

Soon military chaplains could be required to perform same-sex marriages.

To continue ministering to the men and women who are putting their lives on the line for our country, military chaplains would have to violate their faith.

The Senate is considering legislation to protect religious liberty in our military, and we must act now for these strong men of faith.

The House of Representatives has already passed legislation that protects the religious liberty of everyone serving in the military – especially chaplains. The Senate is days away from taking up similar legislation, and we must act quickly.

Religious liberty is a foundational right, and we should expect our elected officials on both sides of the aisle to support it. President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage may be driving his policy, but it should not affect the religious freedom of our men and women who risk their lives to protect our rights and freedom.

Despite Sekulow’s ominous message, the Washington Post reported following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that while chaplains will be able to perform same-sex marriages in states where they are legal; they will not be required to do so:

The Pentagon will permit military chaplains to perform same-sex marriage as long as such ceremonies are not prohibited in the states where they reside, it said Friday.

Defense Department guidance issued to military chaplains said they may participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize gay unions. Chaplains are not required to officiate at same-sex weddings if doing so is counter to their religious or personal beliefs, the guidance said.

In fact, the only way the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act significantly changes the law is by imposing a ban on the use of military installations in same-sex marriage ceremonies, prohibiting houses of worship on military property from exercising their freedom to marry same-sex couples in states where it is legal.