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Conservatives Say 'Don't Ask' Repeal Would Hurt Military Chaplains

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-A group of social conservatives and retired military chaplains held a press conference in Washington today to argue that the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy would have an adverse impact on the religious freedom and careers of military chaplains.

Allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the armed forces "steals from the chaplain their religious freedom," according to retired military chaplain Col. Rich Young. He argued that chaplains will be "muzzled" if the policy passes and that "soldiers and families [will] no longer have the benefit of the full council of God."

Participants at the press conference suggested that chaplains who oppose gay marriage and believe homosexuality is immoral might see their careers hurt and lose the ability to honestly counsel service members.

Jordan Lorence of the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian non-profit group, said that repeal would mean that military policy will for the first time be "at odds with the major tenets of the major religions represented in the armed services."

Allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly will "create a crisis of conscience for the chaplains," he said.
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