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January 31, 2012 Print
Tim Huelskamp

Congressman Introduces Military Religious Freedom Bill

by Karla Dial

Late last week, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., introduced a bill aiming to protect chaplains and other members of the Armed Services who oppose homosexuality from being targeted for discrimination. It also seeks to keep military property from being used to perform same-sex ceremonies.

In part, the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act (HR 3828) reads that “a service member cannot be denied promotion or other training opportunities for any sincerely held beliefs he has about the appropriate or inappropriate expression of human sexuality.”

Though the First Amendment to the Constitution already protects those rights, Huelskamp said in a press release it’s necessary to shore them up with a law since the repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy.

“Fundamental to the core of this nation is the protection of religious liberty,” Huelskamp said. “The Military Religious Freedom Protection Act will ensure that none of our men and women in uniform — including our chaplain corps — is asked to compromise their religious and spiritual beliefs. It will also protect the freedom of those in the military to express vocally the tenets of their faiths. And it will make certain that our military facilities are not used in contravention to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which states that marriage is between one man and one woman only.

“Military installations exist to carry out the national defense of our nation, not to facilitate a narrow social agenda.”

Though left-leaning media outlets pointed out that the repeal of DADT doesn’t require or force anyone to do anything, watchdogs have been raising the alarm since well before the repeal became official that gay activists would use it as a wedge to further advance their agenda.

According to the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, the repeal immediately created a chilling effect on free speech among the troops and a “climate of fear” for chaplains who didn’t know what their rights were in the new environment, especially when it came to addressing and speaking about homosexual behavior.

In some cases, said Executive Director Ron Crews, chaplains “suffered retaliation, including having their careers threatened, for being ‘politically incorrect.’ ”

Read HR 3828, the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act.

Learn more about the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty.