The Iowa National Guard has no plans to have its chaplains perform same-sex unions if the Pentagon decides to recognize openly gay military service later this year, a military spokesman said today
“Per federal law and Department of Defense policy, our chaplains are prohibited from performing same-sex unions or marriages as conducting these types of ceremonies in a duty status would violate the Defense of Marriage Act. At this point we have not received any guidance from the Department of Defense regarding a change in that regulation,” said Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr., the Iowa National Guard’s public affairs officer at Camp Dodge.
In December, President Barack Obama signed a law that set conditions for repeal of the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” law, which prohibits gay people from openly serving in the U.S. military. The current policy will remain in effect until 60 days after the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all certify that the requirements for repeal have been met.
Hapgood said today that all 9,400 members of the Iowa National Guard, including 2,800 soldiers currently serving on combat duty in Afghanistan, are undergoing training to allow gays to openly serve in the National Guard. Similar training is underway throughout the U.S. Armed Forces.
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