Rep. Murphy says Navy should allow chaplains to perform same-sex marriages

Rep. Chris Murphy has asked Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to allow military chaplains to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies in Connecticut, as long as it doesn’t violate their personal beliefs.

Murphy wrote to Mabus today, after the Navy reversed itself on the issue. In April, the Navy issued guidance that would have allowed the branch’s chaplains to officiate same-sex ceremonies if they wanted to-and if it did not violate state law. A month later, the Navy nixed that policy, saying the matter was under review.

In between, Navy officials got a letter from House Republicans, who said the policy would violate the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

In his letter today, Murphy says the Navy’s initial plan was the right one. “Same-sex couples, in the armed services or not, have a legal right to marry in my state,” Murphy wrote to Secretary Mabus. “The Navy should not bar their chaplains from marrying same-sex couples. The decision should be left to chaplains, subject to local and state law and their own spiritual beliefs.”