The Washington Times - January 31, 2013, 12:13PM

Chuck Hagel assured the Senate on Thursday that military chaplains will not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages they disagree with — though the defense secretary nominee said same-sex couples will have access to chapels.

Some chaplains have said they fear their careers are being harmed if they opt out of conducting same-sex marriage services because it violates the precepts of their faith.


Sen. Roger Wicker, Mississippi Republican, asked Mr. Hagel at his confirmation hearing Thursday whether chaplains will have freedom of conscience.

“Certainly,” said Mr. Hagel, a former senator. “What we don’t want, though, is, Senator [Mark] Udall’s point, is someone to be denied to be married in a chapel.”