Senate clears amendment to allow military chaplains discretion over same-sex marriage

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, penned the amendment and argued on Wednesday that the Department of Defense's summer authorization for military chaplains to perform same-sex marriages in accordance with state law should not be a mandate. 

“This amendment will allow the chaplains of our Armed Forces to maintain the freedom of conscience necessary to serve both their nation and their religion without conflict,” Wicker said.  “Protections for military chaplains should be guaranteed in any policy changes being implemented.”

The amendment was attached, en bloc with several dozen other amendments, to the pending National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2012.