Congressional Committee Tames Rep. Akin's Anti-Gay Exit
A final attempt by outgoing anti-gay Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to target gay and lesbian troops by writing discrimination into the Pentagon's budget appears to have failed. In the final language of the $633 billion defense authorization bill for fiscal year 2013, a provision authored by Akin that purported to protect the religious views of servicemembers and military chaplains on the "appropriate and inappropriate expression of human sexuality" has been watered down considerably. Akin's provision, which was first introduced as part of the House version of the bill in May, was believed by many as an attempt to permit harassment and ban same-sex weddings from occurring on military bases, despite a Defense Department policy that already ensures no chaplain can be forced to perform a same-sex marriage. The Senate and House versions of the bill were combined by lawmakers in a conference committee on Tuesday, which stripped much of Akin's language without doing away with theunnecessary provision entirely.