The freedom of religious expression for service members is included in the defense bill that President Barack Obama signed into law Thursday.
The armed forces must "accommodate individual expressions of beliefs" of service members, as outlined in the new law.
Chaplain Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, says he believes the law will protect the freedom of troops that believe marriage is between a man and a woman, allowing them to say so. These troops will no longer be subject to what he refers to as "a reverse don't ask don't tell policy.
Crews said in the past some chaplains have been told not to pray in Jesus' name at military ceremonies. The law now calls for a survey to determine if restrictions on chaplain's prayers outside of the religious services are hindering their ministry.
The law also says that no expressions of belief should be accommodated if they hurt, “military readiness, unit cohesion, and good order and discipline.”