Owens Votes Against Military Same Sex Marriage Ceremony Ban


North country Congressman Bill Owens voted against a proposal Wednesday to ban 'marriage or marriage like ceremonies' for same sex couples on military bases. The proposal passed anyway.

The House Armed Services Committee, of which Owens is a member, passed the measure on a party line vote 37-24. (Party line means all the members of one political party vote for something, and the other party votes against it.)

The National Journal reports the measure was tucked into the defense authorization bill just hours after President Obama said he supported same-sex marriage.

(Read the entire story here.)

"Current law provides for military chaplains to perform marriage rites in accordance with the chaplains' religious beliefs and the religious liberty of all service members is preserved without this amendment," noted Owens' spokesman, Sean Magers.

Owens then voted for the main authorization bill, which - because of the first vote - included the ban.

The defense authorization bill includes a lot of items important to Fort Drum and military families and retirees.

- $95 million aircraft hangar at Drum to support the installation's combat aviation brigade.

- $25.9 million data terminal complex at Fort Drum for the Missile Defense Agency

- $17.3 million soldier specialty care clinic through the Tricare Management Activity also at Drum

- 1.7 percent pay raise for the troops

- NO BRAC (base closing) authority was included

- Does not include previously proposed increases to pharmacy co-pays or enrollment fees for the various TRICARE programs.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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