(From U. S. Senate candidate Todd Akin)
Congressman Akin released the following statement:
“Yesterday the President announced his new position on same-sex marriage, and used the military as a campaign prop to advance the liberal agenda. Whatever Obama’s views may be, I find it appalling that the he would so blatantly use the military for political cover on this controversial issue. Our sons and daughters don’t volunteer for the military to be used to promote a political agenda.
“This liberal agenda has infiltrated our military, where service members and chaplains are facing recrimination for their sincerely held moral and religious beliefs. Moral or religious concerns about same-sex marriage or the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have become potentially career-ending. Obama’s use of the military to justify his new support for same-sex marriage will only add fuel to this fire, potentially forcing service members and chaplains to violate their own conscience or face recriminations.
“For this reason, I offered an amendment last night to protect the religious liberty of military service members and their chaplains. Our service members are putting their life on the line for our country. We should not respond by limiting their religious freedom. These heroes are fighting to defend the Constitution and our freedom. We cannot allow their Constitutional freedoms to be violated.”
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. In addition, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty strongly supported the amendment, and the Archbishop for Military Services explicitly endorsed the Akin amendment.
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 FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4310) was reported out of the House Armed Services Committee favorably and is expected to be considered on the House floor next week.