Bill Offers Military Chaplains Conscience Protection

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U.S. Congressman Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, said chaplains and other military personnel are facing punishment for not supporting gays in the military.

His claims come after the Obama administration's decision to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that allows homosexuals to serve openly.

Rep. Huelskamp told the House Armed Services Committee that one chaplain was threatened with early retirement just because he forwarded an email about DADT.

The Kansas Republican and 45 co-sponsors are hoping to pass the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act to protect the conscience rights of military personnel.

The bill exempts chaplains from functions that violate their religious principles, and it prohibits punishment of troops who express religious or moral beliefs about homosexuality.

The measure also bars the use of military facilities for same-sex weddings or civil unions. Rep. Huelskamp said such practice that would violate the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

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