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Army Chaplain in Hot Water Over Same-Sex Marriage

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Generic Army Chaplain

Credit: William B. King/Army Times

by Calvin Freiburger,

A Christian chaplain in the US Army may face a court martial for rescheduling a marriage retreat he could not lead due to the involvement of same-sex couples.

Army Major Scott Squires was a decorated chaplain at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is endorsed by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board (NAMB), Todd Starnes reported. NAMB policy says chaplains cannot “conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same-sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union … nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off a military installation.”

Army regulations not only allow but require chaplains to “uphold requirements of their endorsing religious group,” with recognition that doing so “may restrict chaplain participation in a command or religious support event” from time to time. So, when tasked with conducting a Strong Bonds marriage retreat that would have included a lesbian couple, Squires rescheduled the event so another chaplain could take over.

Rather than that settling the matter, however, an Army investigator under the command of Major General Kurt Sonntag recommended that Squires be found guilty of “dereliction of duty” because he took three business days to reschedule the retreat.

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© 2018

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