Target: United States House Armed Services Committee members John Fleming, (R-La.) and Todd Akin, (R-Mo.)
Goal: Stop condemning same-sex couples who hold marriages and commitment ceremonies in U.S. Army chapels.
When a loving lesbian couple held a commitment ceremony at a Louisiana army chapel last month, they probably didn’t expect to be publicly reproached by congressmen. However, Republican Representatives John Fleming and Todd Akin had other ideas. The two swiftly spoke out against their union, calling it a “liberal social experiment” and “absolutely unacceptable.” Tell Fleming and Akin that the public will not tolerate this type of disrespect toward the unions of same-sex couples.
Though Louisiana does not legally recognize marriages or civil unions for same-sex couples, the lesbians’ ceremony on the Fort Polk U.S. Army base was simply an expression of love and devotion. Held in the base’s chapel, a spokesman for Fort Polk told reporters that all those in attendance knew it was not a legally binding marriage.
However, this did not stop the onslaught of public attacks at the hands of Fleming and Akin. According to LGBTQNation, a gay and lesbian-themed news site, the two believed that the ceremony went against Louisiana’s same-sex marriage prohibition, even though it was a non-binding union.
“The liberal social experiment with our military continues,” Fleming said when speaking out against the lesbian couple’s ceremony. “A same-sex marriage-like ceremony should not have occurred at Fort Polk, especially since the people of Louisiana have made it abundantly clear that our state does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.”
According to the LGBTQNation staff report, these representatives believe that last year’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” opened the doors to these types of “incidents.” They also seek to ban “same-sex marriages or marriage-like ceremonies” on bases. Akin has recently put forward a measure that would do just that.
Under current guidelines, “a military chaplain may participate in or officiate any private ceremony…provided that the ceremony is not prohibited by applicable state and local law.”
However, every person who participated in this couple’s union did so of their own free will and no certificate or license was issued that would be contrary to Louisiana law.
These Republican representatives must be told that their hate-filled rhetoric against gays and lesbians who place their lives on the line for this country is unfair and wrong. By signing the petition below, you will tell Fleming, Akin, and their fellow Republicans to cease their highly critical statements against same-sex unions on base.
Dear Representatives Fleming and Akin,
Publicly speaking out against the loving lesbian couple who had their commitment ceremony on the Fort Polk U.S. Army base was hurtful and unnecessary. These women, who have made countless sacrifices for this country, did not deserve to be called out simply for expressing their love.
Though Louisiana does not recognize same-sex marriage or civil unions, these women held a non-binding commitment ceremony and didn’t break any state laws. Moreover, all those in attendance were not forced to witness their union. A ceremony celebrating this couple’s devotion should not have been senselessly bashed.
It is imperative that you case your hate-filled rhetoric against the gays and lesbians who put their lives on the line for this nation. Please commit to taking action immediately.
[Your Name Here]