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WASHINGTON – On the same day that President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage, the House Armed Services Committee backed measures prohibiting the practice on U.S. military bases.
The panel stepped into the gays in the military issue as it considered a sweeping, $642 billion defense bill for next year that buys new weapons, ships and aircraft, increases military pay by 1.7 percent and sets policies for the Pentagon. The committee worked through the day Wednesday and into the early morning Thursday on the legislation that adds billions of dollars to the president's budget request.
The committee fleshed out a blueprint for next year that calls for a base defense budget of $554 billion, including nuclear weapons spending, plus $88 billion for the war in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts. That compares with the administration's proposal of $551 billion, plus $88 billion.
"The president has repealed `don't ask, don't tell' and is using the military as props to promote his gay agenda," said Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., who is running for Senate.
In an odd exchange, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., questioned what would happen if a service member literally interpreted the Old Testament's Leviticus, which considers homosexuality an abomination. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., disputed her contention that was part of the Bible, saying it was the Old Testament.
"Members of this committee are looking to turn back the clock and find new ways to discriminate against gay and lesbian service members," said Rep. Adam Smith of Washington state, the top Democrat on the committee. "These men and women serve with honor and distinction and this amendment sends a message that their service is not valued."
Tom Head on why Government is in marriage.
Any person of faith who believes that the government has legitimate authority over sacraments either has a very high opinion of the government or a very low opinion of sacraments.