Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO), Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, announced today that he will be offering an amendment to the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act to protect military chaplains in particular, and military servicemembers broadly, from persecution based on their religious beliefs on sexuality.
"Since the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, we have heard stories of military chaplains facing censorship for their opposition to the liberal agenda," said Congressman Todd Akin. "Chaplains and servicemembers should not face recrimination or persecution in the military for standing strong on their religious beliefs in opposition to homosexuality. A military chaplain is charged with meeting the religious needs of all of those under his or her care, but that chaplain must also remain true to their own faith."
"My amendment is about protecting the religious liberty of military chaplains and the servicemembers under their care," said Akin. "Liberals may have successfully ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but they should not be allowed to force members of our military to give up their religious beliefs. That is simply unacceptable and unconstitutional."
The Akin amendment creates a statutory conscience protection clause for members of the military in general and military chaplains in particular. The amendment language was developed in conjunction with a number of Members of Congress, including Reps. Tim Huelskamp and Steve Palazzo, and a number of chaplain groups.
In 2011, Congressman Akin led the effort to fight back against gay marriage on military bases. Akin offered an amendment to H.R. 1540 which was stripped by the Senate.
The House Armed Services Committee is expected to mark up the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday (H.R. 4310) and Congressman Akin's amendment will likely come up during the second half of the all day mark up.