The Southern Baptist Convention has said its military chaplains cannot perform, attend or support a same-sex wedding either on or off base. As a private, religious organization, the convention has a right to set standards for its clerics. Marriage is a civil union governed by secular laws and military personnel are free to marry in civil ceremonies.
The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board, which commissions military chaplains, released guidelines last month stating that endorsed chaplains will not “offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off of a military installation, that would give the appearance of accepting the homosexual lifestyle or sexual wrongdoing.” The updated guidelines are a response to repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and the Supreme Court’s June decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
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