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Gay marriage an issue in Pentagon bill

June 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- The $690 billion Pentagon bill passed by the U.S. House last week targets same-sex marriage while funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The legislation passed by the Republican-led chamber effectively bars military installations from hosting same-sex weddings and chaplains from performing them in their official duties, The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reports.

The military also would only recognize heterosexual marriages.

Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va., said Tuesday: "When it comes to the institution of marriage, I hold the view that human history teaches us and what I've learned ... is that marriage between one man and one woman is best."

But Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., who also voted for the bill, said: "I think we've got to acknowledge that gay marriage is legal in several states. What's going to end up happening is other states are going to have to recognize those marriages."

The measure also could delay the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" by requiring the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to sign on.

The fiscal year 2012 budget passed the House 322-96 Thursday and goes to the Democratic-led Senate.

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