The House of Representatives approved defense budget legislation yesterday that includes several anti-gay provisions meant to disrupt the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and to increase the scope of the Defense of Marriage Act. The measure passed 322-96.
The most high-profile anti-gay provision -- offered as an amendment by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) -- is language that would expand the certification requirement needed for repeal to include the four military service chiefs. Such a provision would complicate the repeal process established by the law signed in December, which would implement open service after 60 days pass following certification from the president, the defense secretary and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Another provision, offered as an amendment by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), reaffirms that the Defense Department and its regulations are subject to the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.
Yet another provision -- offered as an amendment by Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Mo) -- prohibits military facilities for being used for same-sex marriage ceremonies, even in states where same-sex marriage is legal, and prevents military chaplains from presiding over same-sex marriages in their official capacities. The language would expand the federal restrictions on same-sex marriage beyond what DOMA already imposes.
The measure passed with overwhelming Democrat support - including long time LGBT ally (and new DNC chair) Debbie Wasserman-Shultz. The National Stonewall Democrats, our voice to elect and hold accountable Democrats, well, they put up a Facebook posting that said it was "very disappointing." I'm sure that has Democrats quaking in their boots.