Conscience Rights & Religious Freedom
January 28, 2014

New Rules Greeted With Cautious Optimism

The Department of Defense recently released an Instruction (Number 1300.17) to implement a defense bill "conscience clause" to protect religious liberty in the military.  The January 22 directive referenced Section 533 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2013, which reaffirmed the constitutional rights of chaplains and people of faith to act in accordance with their beliefs on issues affecting morality and religious beliefs.  

The Center for Military Readiness and many groups affiliated with the Military Culture Coalition supported the legislation, which was passed in 2012:

Congress Takes First Steps to Accommodate Religious Liberty in the Military

If carried out as Congress intended, the law and Instruction will be helpful in pushing back against violations of religious liberty that . . . Read More

January 3, 2013

Defense Authorization Codifies Protections for Chaplains − More Work Needed 

The Center for Military Readiness is pleased that the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 (NDAA) includes a new section of law that reaffirms the constitutional rights of chaplains to act in accordance with their views on issues affecting morality and religious beliefs. 

Working with a number of Military Culture Coalition (MCC) group leaders, CMR took a leadership role in efforts to protect constitutional rights of religious liberty in all branches of the service.  Read More

December 4, 2012

Check off another prediction about the consequences of LGBT law − a policy that imposes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender agenda on America's military.  Same-sex marriages on military bases became all-but inevitable when Congress rushed to repeal the 1993 law regarding gays in the military in 2010, replacing it with LGBT law.    

On December 1, 2012, Brenda "Sue" Fulton exchanged marriage vows with her long-time partner, Penelope Dara Gnesin, in the Cadet Chapel of the U.S. Military Academy in New York.  The ceremony for Fulton and Gnesin, which followed a similar union of two lesbians on the previous weekend in West Point's cemetery chapel, ended with both "brides" (as they were called) exiting under a traditional arch of swords.

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October 28, 2012

CMR Spotlights Fort Polk Marriage Controversy 

Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and James Inhofe (R-OK) have responded to concerns about infringements on religious freedom in the military, co-sponsoring a free-standing bill, S. 3526, titled the Military Religious Freedom Act of 2012 (MRFPA).”   This news release from Sen. Inhofe describes the free-standing legislation, which replicates language that the House approved in May, as part of its version of the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).   

Same-Sex Marriage in Chapel Divides Fort Polk Community    

In May, what was probably the first same-sex "marriage-like ceremony” on a U. S. military base took place in a dedicated chapel at Fort Polk, Louisiana  Read More

February 22, 2012
The newly-enacted LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Law and related policies in the military have created irreconcilable conflicts that have yet to be resolved.  The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees rights of conscience and religious freedom to both chaplains and military personnel.  Department of Defense policy statements, however, clearly indicate that the administration intends to infringe on rights of conscience and religious liberty in the course of fully implementing LGBT law and related policies in the military. . . Read More

See previous articles on this topic here:
More background information and historic documents on this topic may be available in the 'Essential Resources' section of this website, or in a previous edition of CMR E-Notes, archived here.