Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), member of the House Armed Services Committee, Persian Gulf War veteran and the only noncommissioned officer concurrently serving in Congress and the National Guard, responded to reports that a same-sex ceremony recently took place at a chapel at Fort Polk, LA. Louisiana is one of 38 states with a law defining marriage as one man and one woman.
"Contrary to activist judicial opinion, DOMA is still the law of the land," Palazzo stated. "Recent actions at Fort Polk violate the spirit of DOMA and create further uncertainty regarding federal law and military policy. That is exactly what my amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was designed to address, and this is a prime example of why congressional action is necessary."
Palazzo's provision, which passed the House Armed Services Committee and the House of Representatives with bipartisan support in May of this year, states that no military installation shall be used for "marriage or marriage-like" ceremonies involving anything other than "the union of one man with one woman." The provision drew attention in the wake of President Obama's announcement in favor of same-sex marriage.
Palazzo also argued that Obama administration actions over the last year made the clarifying language necessary. "The administration's recent actions have created uncertainty regarding ceremonies permitted on military installations," Palazzo stated. "This amendment is intended to clear up any doubt and reinforce DOMA's authority as it applies to those installations."
The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It limits federal recognition of marriage as existing only between one man and one woman.