The U.S. Senate passed the next year's defense budget without some of the proposed harmful language that would limit the use of military facilities for same-sex couples.
The bill passed with full bipartissan support, with a 98-0 vote. The House version of the bill, which was passed in May, included an amendment to give "conscience protections" to chaplains and other service personnel who do not want to minister or work with gay, lesbian, or bisexual service members. Another amendment in the House version would also bar same-sex couples from using military bases or any other defense facilities for wedding ceremonies.
Allyson Robinson, the new executive director of OutServe-SLDN, praised the bipartisan passage of the law Tuesday, and said her organization would work with Congress to make sure the final version of the bill is stripped of the antigay provisions.
“The Department of Defense has already made it clear—and appropriately so—that decisions about the use of facilities should be made on a sexual orientation neutral basis," Robinson said in a statement Tuesday. "Anything else is discrimination, pure and simple.”