By Justin Sink - 07/11/13 02:36 PM EDT
The amendment to the defense spending bill would restrict how military officers could address proselytizing and other religious statements by troops. But the White House has said the protections could limit commanding officer's ability to discipline soldiers for anti-gay comments, and lead to insubordination.
Gohmert said the president's opposition to the amendment amounted to discrimination against Christians during a press conference with the Family Research Council (FRC).
"If this administration is going to continue to tolerate this kind of intolerance, they are going to lose members of the military that cannot serve if their First Amendment rights aren’t going to be protected with regard to religion," Gohmert continued.
In a statement last month, the White House said it "strongly objects" to the measure.
"By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment," the White House said.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also registered its concern with the measure.
"This amendment has the potential to lead to claims of a right to discriminate against lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members; women; religious minorities; and in the provision of health care," the civil rights group wrote in letter last month.
"For instance, this could make it very difficult for commanders to appropriately deal with problems regarding conduct that undermines longstanding prohibitions against harassment, give rise to claims that could threaten the role of women in the Armed Forces, of a right to proselytize other service members and civilians in occupied areas, and lead to claims affecting health care services," they added.
It's not the first time Gohmert has accused the president of religious persecution. During an FRC event last month, Gohmert called the president a "proclaimed Christian" and said he had "gone to war with Christianity.”
“The gloves have come off, there really is a war by this administration against not just the Catholic Church but the Christian Church,” Gohmert said in a clip posted by the liberal organization People for the American Way.