LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) — The Southern Baptist Convention, which provides the largest share of active-duty U.S. military chaplains, has barred members from performing gay marriages and taking part in counseling sessions and couples retreats for same-sex couples.
An arm of the group, the North American Mission Board, issued the decision in response to the Department of Defense recognizing same-sex marriages and extending benefits to gay spouses.
The decision highlights opposition among some religious groups to the momentum in the U.S. in favor of gay marriage.
A Defense Department spokesman did not immediately return a message.
The Pentagon said last month same-sex spouses of troops will be eligible for the same benefits as heterosexual spouses. The policy took effect Tuesday.
The military has 439 active-duty chaplains and 268 reserve-duty chaplains affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
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