Rep. Wants Navy Chaplains to Marry Same-Sex Couples

A Connecticut congressman wants military chaplains to be allowed to officiate same-sex marriages in the state.

Rep. Chris Murphy (D-CT) sent a letter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus Wednesday, asking him to uphold an April decision allowing same-sex ceremonies to be held at naval facilities. Connecticut is home the Naval Subase New London.

"Since 2008, same-sex couples in Connecticut have had the legal right to marry. I find it disgraceful that citizens of our state serving in the armed forces aren't afforded that same basic right," Murphy said.

The Navy issued the initial decision after Congress passed a law repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", but since suspended the guidance sent to naval bases after receiving a letter from a group of House Republicans, according to Murphy.

"It should go without saying that government policy should not prohibit the religious or civil official of their choice to perform the marriage -- that should be left up to the couple and the official," Murphy wrote in his letter to Mabus. "When the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has been eliminated, neither the Navy nor Marine Corps will be able to discharge a service member for marrying someone of the same sex. With our state's proud Naval and Marine Corps tradition, I anticipate that some number of same-sex couples will want to marry in Navy chapels by Naval chaplains."

The Pentagon has stated it may be mid-summer before the DADT policy is eliminated.

Murphy, who has announced his intentions to run for Senate in 2012, said he has been a long-time supporter of the efforts to repeal DADT.

"Citizens of of my state, working together with a willing Navy chaplain, should not have to lose a right they have in our state because of interference from the Navy," Murphy said.

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