Rep. John Fleming, Rep. Todd Akin
Same-Sex Ceremony on Base Has Republicans Saying It Broke the Law

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com June 07 2012 8:07 PM ET

Two women took part in a commitment ceremony at a Louisiana military base in May, according to the Associated Press, and that has two Republican congressman saying it was improper.

When the military approved guidelines last year allowing chaplains to perform weddings for same-sex couples, it said marriages could be performed only in states where they were legal and with a willing chaplain.

But Rep. John Fleming said that because the women's ceremony at Fort Polk was "marriage-like" it should have also been stopped.

“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," he said in a statement. Fleming blamed the repeal of "don’t ask, don’t tell" for having "made incidents like this inevitable."

A spokesman for Fort Polk told the AP that everyone understood the ceremony wasn't a marriage.

But Rep. Todd Akin, a Missouri Republican sponsoring a measure to ban same-sex unions of any sort at military bases, said the base had violated state law and Defense Department policy. He didn't say what consequences would be in store if the law had been broken.

"This appears to be a case where political agenda has trumped the rule of law," Akin said, "which is absolutely unacceptable."