Navy says chaplains may perform same-sex unions

May 9, 2011 - 6:44 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Navy chaplains would be allowed to perform same-sex civil marriage ceremonies under new training guidance that would take effect if the Defense Department moves this summer to recognize openly gay military service.

The Navy says it is updating its training after questions arose about civil ceremonies for gay couples. Same-sex marriage ceremonies were not mentioned in Defense Department training guidelines, but also were not prohibited.

The Navy ceremonies would be allowed at military facilities only in states that already recognize same-sex unions. Such a union, however, would not give a same-sex partners health, housing or other benefits that are provided to married couples involving a man and woman.

The Air Force and Army do not currently include the same-sex marriage provision in their training.