Conservatives: West Point wedding violated DOMA

West Point lesbian wedding

West Point graduate Sue Fulton marries her partner Penelope Gnesin in the chapel at her alma mater.
Photo by Jeff Sheng.

Think Progress

Anti-gay conservatives continue to be outraged that two same-sex weddings took place at West Point this weekend, including one in the academy’s Cadet Chapel. Many though, are now making a false claim that the marriages somehow are a violation of federal law. Along with an image of a crying soldier, Tony Perkins argued in the Family Research Council’s Washington Update Monday that the weddings were inconsistent with the Defense of Marriage Act.

Perkins writes, “In September of last year, the Pentagon did issue a memo giving military bases the power to decide whether or not to host same-sex ‘weddings.’ Of course, that guidance came from Jeh Johnson, general counsel for the Department of Defense — not Congress. According to Johnson, decisions about military facilities should be made on a ‘sexual-orientation neutral basis.’ And while the ‘wedding’ may have been consistent with Johnson’s memo, the DOD’s general counsel is no substitute for the 427 elected members of Congress who voted to define marriage as the union of a man and woman for the government’s purposes. That means it affects federal employees (which Fulton is) and federal property (where West Point resides). The President may vehemently disagree with the law — but until the Supreme Court overturns it or Congress rejects it, DOMA is still the law of the land.”


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