Which do you want first: good news or bad news? Good? OK. Today Congress compromised on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). They agreed to take out provisions that would prohibit military chaplains from participating in same-sex marriages. It was pretty easy considering no one ever suggested they be required to do so if it was against their beliefs. Hooray! Victory!
Another quashed amendment would have required that the Defense Department comply with the Defense of Marriage Act. That sounds like another win for gay rights, but it was redundant to the provisions already in place.
Well, that's the good news!
The bad news is that the NDAA failed to repeal the recommendations of the Cox Commission…
However, the conference report also leaves out language from the Senate bill that would have repealed Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the long-standing military law classifying consensual sodomy for both gay and straight service members as a crime.
The Pentagon had asked for repeal of the sodomy ban as part of the Comprehensive Review Working Group report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" that was issued late last year. The Commission on the 50th Anniversary of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, informally known as the Cox Commission, had also called for an end to the sodomy ban.
So technically, gay servicemen can get married but are prohibited from having sexual intercourse. Now straight marriage and gay marriage are totally equal. Happy?
Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: House of Representatives, LGBT, Military, Senate