Military chaplains allowed to perform gay weddings

The Pentagon said Friday that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriage as long as such ceremonies are not prohibited in the states where they reside.

Defense Department guidance said chaplains may participate in ceremonies on or off military bases in states that recognize gay unions. But chaplains are not required to officiate at same-sex weddings if doing so is counter to their religious beliefs, the guidance said.

Regardless of the Pentagon guidance, military chaplains will still need to take cues from their religious order, said Gary Pollitt, spokesman for the Military Chaplains Association.

“Just because the Department of Defense says this can happen, the chaplains perform such rites in keeping with their ecclesiastical authorization,” Pollitt said.

Gay couples may get married in Washington, D.C., and six states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Several other states recognize same-sex marriages but do not grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Forty-one states have either laws or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage.


Judge releases jailhouse video of Casey Anthony

A Florida judge released a jailhouse video of Casey Anthony being told that the remains of her 2-year-old daughter had been found in 2008.

An Orlando television station argued in court for the release of the 15-minute video on grounds that it was part of the public record. The footage had been under judicial seal since June 2009.

Judge Belvin Perry ruled Friday that protecting Anthony’s right to a fair trial was no longer an issue following her July acquittal on charges that she killed Caylee Anthony in the summer of 2008. The child’s remains were discovered that December.

Though found not guilty of murder charges, Anthony was convicted of four charges of lying to police. She is somewhere in Florida serving a year of probation on a separate check fraud conviction. Authorities are keeping her whereabouts confidential for her safety.

Anthony’s acquittal caused a national uproar, with people expressing their displeasure with the verdict both publicly and via social media.