LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 6, 2013)--The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty military chaplains, is barring those chaplains from performing gay marriages or taking part in counseling sessions and retreats for same-sex couples.
The SBC’s North American Mission Board issued the decision in the wake of the U.S. Department of Defense decision to recognize same-sex marriages and to extend benefits to gay spouses.
The Pentagon, following a Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, said last month same-sex spouses of troops will be eligible for the same health care, housing and other benefits as heterosexual spouses.
The policy took effect Tuesday.
The military has 439 active-duty chaplains and 268 reserve-duty chaplains affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.