Armed Services Committee upholds DOMA and religious liberty

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee approved amendments to the Defense Authorization bill that would ensure the military adheres to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The measure also requires all four military service chiefs to certify that implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will not adversely affect combat readiness and effectiveness. The repeal of DADT currently only requires the approval of the President, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Defense Secretary.

Here is a breakdown of the votes on each amendment:

• Hunter Amendment (Service chiefs must sign off on repeal of DADT) – 33 to 27
• Hartzler Amendment (Affirms DOMA for the military) – 39 to 22
• Akin Amendment (No same-sex marriages on military bases) – 38 to 23

“I want them to sign off on the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,'” Rep. Duncan Hunter, Jr. said of the military leaders, arguing that Obama never served in the military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, has never been in ground combat and Defense Secretary Robert Gates is a political appointee. “I, and others in this room, have more combat experience than the folks who sign off on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.'” Rep. Duncan served three Marine tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill now heads to the full House and then to the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate where a heated debate is expected. For more on the amendments and votes, CLICK HERE.

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