Jul 09, 2011 12:04 AM GMT
Besides spending more than ever on the military, how about adding some good old gay bashing?
WASHINGTON -- The House on Friday quietly passed a defense spending bill with provisions that slow the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) and reaffirm the federal ban on gay marriage.
The $648 billion defense appropriations package easily passed in a 336-87 vote. The bill also includes a $17 billion increase over last year's non-emergency spending. But the 112 Democrats who helped pass it also endorsed a package with two GOP amendments taking aim at gay rights.
The first amendment by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) bars the use of defense funds for training military chaplains to prepare for a DADT repeal. The amendment comes on the heels of a recently rescinded Navy directive that would allow Navy chaplains to voluntarily perform same-sex marriages.
The second amendment by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) prohibits defense dollars from being used "in contravention of section 7 of title 1, United States Code (the Defense of Marriage Act)." In layman's terms, it bars defense funds from being used for any benefits -- housing, education, medical services or transportation -- for same-sex couples.
But gay rights supporters can't just blame Republicans, since Democrats voted with them to attach both amendments to the bill. Huelskamp had nine Democrats supporting his amendment and Foxx's amendment had the support of 19 Democrats.